More MS news articles for Dec 2001

Drug testing for MS, arthritis treatment to begin on humans

[For more information on this treatment see extracts from CBio website below including unrestricted links to full text articles]

Posted : Wed, 12 Dec 2001 12:28 AEST

Testing of a breakthrough drug to treat MS and rheumatoid arthritis will soon begin on people after years of tests on mice.

Researcher Dr Halle Morton says tests will initially begin in Brisbane and then extend to patients in the regions, including Mackay.

Dr Morton says she hopes the biotechnology company conducting the tests will gain international recognition and is trying to get investors in Mackay and the state interested in the company.

Dr Morton says the new company is about to begin hospital-based testing of the treatment for auto-immune disease.

"Our aim now with CBio is to produce large quantities of the protein and test it to make sure it's suitable for human administration," Dr Morton said.

"Then we'll start testing in the clinical trials, start testing humans with multiple sclerosis and also use it to test normal subjects to make sure that it doesn't have any toxic side-effects."

© 2001 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

Early Pregnancy Factor

05 November 2001

Early Pregancy Factor (EPF) is produced very early in pregnancy and functions by de-tuning a subset of immune cells (CD-4 cells). These same cells are those implicated in certain auto-immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis. Evidence to this effect is the clinical observation that women suffering from auto-immune diseases tend to go into remission during pregnancy.

EPF, by virtue of its pivotal role in protecting the fetus from the mother's immune system is expected to exert its action much sooner in the inflammation reaction than the competitive products. This is supported by research showing it acts on the CD-4 cells. It is not unreasonable to expect EPF to have broader efficacy profiles than the existing biological drugs. One would also expect significant synergism between existing drugs and EPF leading to much better treatment outcomes. Initial animal studies have confirmed the ability of EPF to positively affect the clinical outcome in a rat model for multiple sclerosis.

Animal studies have indicated the effectiveness of EPF in delaying skin graft rejection. Animal models have also shown that EPF has growth factor properties and is effective in accelerating wound healing.

The company will focus on three key applications in significant markets:


Morton, H. Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF): A link between Fertilization and Immunomodulation Aust.J. Biol.Sci., 1984, 37, 393-407 [1079KB]

Cavanagh, AC. Identification of Early Pregnancy Factor as Chaperonin 10: Implications for understanding its role Reviews of Reproduction,1996; 1, 28-32 [455KB]

Cruz Y P, Selwood L, Morton H, Cavanagh A C. Significance of Serum. Early Pregnancy Factor concentrations during pregnancy and embryonic development in Sminthopsis macroura (Spencer) (Marsupialia: Dasyuridae) Reproduction, 2001; 121, 933-939 [298KB]

Morton H, Rolfe BE, Cavanagh AC. Early Pregnancy Factor Seminars in Reproductive Endocrinology,1992;10, 2 [1015KB]

The Company

CBio Limited is an Australian biotechnology company established to acquire proven research products and technology and develop these through to commercialisation.

The company's principal focus is on immune modulation technology and will initially commercialise Early Pregnancy Factor (EPF). EPF has the potential to become a major drug application in two areas: organ or skin transplantation and for use in the treatment of auto immune diseases.

Commercialisation activities will be pursued on the successful completion of the Phase I EPF human trial. This is by license agreements with multinational drug companies.

Initial clinical collaborations have been established with the Department of Surgery and Department of Medicine at Royal Brisbane Hospital. The potential exists for the development of both topical and injectable products.

CBio is actively pursuing complementary projects to fill the product development pipeline.

(c) Copyright 2001, CBio