Atopix Therapeutics Secures Funding to Broaden Development of CRTH2 Antagonists for TH2-Mediated Disease

ABINGDON, England, June 17, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

  • Silicon Valley Bank, which specialises in funding innovation and biotech companies, joins existing investors including SR One and Wellington Partners 
  • A £1.3 million Biomedical Catalyst grant has been awarded to Imperial College, London, to investigate OC459 for the treatment of asthma triggered by the common cold  

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[1]. 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."

References:

[1]. Pettipher et al (2014) Allergy 69 1223-1232

About Atopix Therapeutics Ltd 

Atopix Therapeutics Limited is a privately held, clinical-stage, biopharmaceutical company based in

Oxford, UK, developing a novel class of medicines to treat a range of disease indications including atopic dermatitis and severe asthma. The company is developing a class of oral medicines, called CRTH2 antagonists. Its lead candidate is currently being studied in a Phase 2 clinical trial for moderate-to-severe atopic dermatitis in several leading European dermatology centres. The company is also assessing the safety and pharmacokinetic profile of its back-up molecule ATX2417 in a Phase I study. Atopix has a pipeline of highly potent back-up CRTH2 antagonists, including topical candidates that can be formulated for treatment of a number of severe allergic conditions including eye disease. For more information, please visit http://www.atopixtherapeutics.com.

About Th2-mediated disease 

An overactive Th2 response involving production of cytokines such as interleukin 4, 5 and 13 has been proven to contribute to disease pathology in atopic dermatitis and severe asthma. Such diseases involve activation of both Th2 lymphocytes and type 2 innate lymphoid cells and are often associated with elevation in the numbers of eosinophils in both blood and target tissues. Indeed, blood eosinophil count is one of the best clinical markers to identify responders to the anti-Th2 medications anti-IL-5, anti-13 and anti-CRTH2.

About OC459 

OC459 is an orally active CRTH2 antagonist which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of eosinophilic asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. It is effective when dosed once a day and provides marked improvements in patients with a Th2 dominant eosinophilic form of disease. Such patients typically have more severe disease and are prone to exacerbations. An attractive feature of OC459 is that it can be used to treat multiple co-morbid allergic diseases simultaneously.  

About Silicon Valley Bank 

For more than 30 years, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) has helped innovative businesses and their investors move bold ideas forward, fast. SVB provides a range of targeted financial services and expertise through its office in the UK. With commercial and international banking services, SVB helps address the unique needs of innovators. Forbes named SVB one of America's best banks (2015) and one of America's best-managed companies (2014). In 2014, SVB was recognised as Service Provider of the Year for the third year in a row at the Investor Allstar Awards in London. SVB's life science and healthcare practice provides a range of financial services to innovative companies that are improving health through technology. Learn more at svb.com/lifescience.

SOURCE Atopix Therapeutics Limited

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