Atopix raises additional development capital to investigate OC459 for treatment of asthma

Atopix Therapeutics Limited ("Atopix"), a UK biopharmaceutical company developing a novel class of medicines to treat atopic dermatitis and severe asthma, today announced that it has raised additional development capital to advance its lead product OC459 for the treatment of asthma.

These funds will be used to initiate a proof-of-concept study of the CRTH2 antagonist OC459 in severe eosinophilic asthma, and to accelerate the development of both OC459 and a second CRTH2 antagonist, ATX2417, more broadly for Th2-mediated diseases.

OC459 is a once-daily oral anti-Th2 therapy with an excellent safety profile. It has been shown to block the recruitment and activation of Th2 lymphocytes, type 2 innate lymphoid cells, eosinophils and basophils and is currently in a Phase 2 study in patients with atopic dermatitis in leading centres throughout Europe.

Previous trials indicate that OC459 is effective in improving lung function and quality of life in steroid-free asthmatics with an eosinophilic form of disease. The aim of the planned Phase 2a study is to evaluate the effect of OC459 in patients with severe asthma who have persistent airway eosinophilia despite treatment with high doses of inhaled corticosteroids. The study will begin later in 2015.

The Company also announces that Imperial College has received a Biomedical Catalyst award for £1.3 million to conduct research into the use of OC459 to reduce the inflammation triggered by the common cold that can cause asthma attacks. The principal investigator for the trial will be Professor Sebastian Johnston at the National Heart & Lung Institute, Imperial College London. The Biomedical Catalyst is a partnership between the Medical Research Council and Innovate UK.

Tim Edwards, Executive Chairman of Atopix, said: "This capital will help Atopix advance these promising medicines through further clinical development. Encouragingly, other studies with biologicals have shown that blockade of Th2 cytokines is safe and effective in the treatment of severe eosinophilic asthma and atopic dermatitis. We will continue to explore the utility of our more convenient oral therapies for patients with these difficult-to-manage diseases."

Nooman Haque, Director of UK Life Sciences & Healthcare for Silicon Valley Bank, commented: "Silicon Valley Bank is delighted to be working with the Atopix management team and their syndicate of investors to support the business as they advance this promising medicine to its next clinical phase."


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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