iCo Therapeutics Inc. (TSX-V: ICO) is pleased to announce that the company has signed a collaboration development agreement with The Consortium for Parasitic Drug Development (CPDD) for the research and development of iCo's oral drug delivery technology for the treatment of neglected diseases such as leishmaniasis and trypanosomiasis. Initial funding of USD $182,930 will be provided for formulation optimization for tropical conditions.
"iCo Therapeutics, in partnership with CPDD and employing a proprietary drug delivery system licensed from the University of British Columbia, is committed to improving the health of millions afflicted with visceral leishmaniasis worldwide, ultimately saving thousands of lives", stated Andrew Rae, President and CEO of iCo Therapeutics. "iCo is extremely pleased to acknowledge the support and assistance of CPDD in furthering iCo's efforts in this area. We feel our collaboration creates a win-win situation for all parties involved."
The proprietary drug delivery technology allows iCo to reformulate select parenteral administered drugs for oral delivery with the goal of greatly improving access to care and expanding the targeted markets, while at the same time retaining all rights to iCo-009 and the significant anti-fungal and additional markets the drug may one day serve.
"CPDD's parasitic expertise and iCo's drug development acumen are highly complementary", stated Dr. Donald Buell, MD, an infectious disease expert and member of iCo's Scientific Advisory Board, "This oral delivery technology has the potential to create a breakthrough in the treatment of neglected diseases."
iCo has demonstrated proof of concept of the delivery technology with Amphotericin B, a potent anti-fungal and anti-parasitic drug with over 50 years of clinical history. Amphotericin B is currently only available via intravenous formulations for the treatment of systemic fungal and parasitic infections, which can have safety issues including infusion-related side effects and potential kidney toxicity. In animal models, oral administration of iCo's oral Amphotericin B has shown significant anti-fungal and anti-parasitic activity with no observable kidney toxicity as assessed histologically and by plasma creatinine concentrations. The oral drug delivery technology was invented by Drs. Kishor & Ellen Wasan at the University of British Columbia. ("UBC"). Dr. John Clement (iCo) and Dr. Kishor Wasan (UBC) are co-Principal Investigators on the project.