More MS news articles for January 1999

Advanced Biotherapy Concepts Receives "Notice of Allowance" from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for New Anti-Cytokine Treatments for Autoimmune Diseases

WOODLAND HILLS, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan. 19, 1999--Advanced Biotherapy Concepts Inc. (OTC BB:ADVB - news) Tuesday announced that it received a "Notice of Allowance" from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, related to one of its patent applications, on Dec. 3, 1998.

This allowance gives the company patent protection for a new anti-cytokine approach to treating different autoimmune diseases. These include rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus and insulin-dependent diabetes. The patented treatment uses various methods to neutralize or block specific combinations of cytokines and their receptors. Certain cytokines are known to promote and exacerbate autoimmune diseases.

"In our opinion, the company's patented approach is broader in scope than certain patented treatments such as Immunex Corp.'s Enbrel™ and Centocor Inc.'s REMICADE™, new commercialized anti-cytokine treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases. These companies currently target a single cytokine -- tumor necrosis factor-alpha," said Edmond Buccellato, company president.

"It is also our opinion that ownership of this asset now places us in a leadership position with companies such as these in terms of anti-cytokine technology ownership," he added.

The company expects to receive other allowances for claims that are still pending.

The company's approach to the treatment of autoimmune disease is based on the pioneering work of its founder, Dr. Simon Skurkovich, whose bold approach to treating autoimmune diseases with an anti-cytokine therapy was first proposed in 1974 in the renowned journal Nature.

The company's approach is based on the idea that autoimmune diseases may have a similar mechanism at their basis -- a disturbance in the synthesis and a hyperproduction of cytokines. This suggests the possibility of a universal therapy for these diseases.

Preliminary results of the company's ongoing clinical trials using a combined anti-cytokine therapy to treat patients with rheumatoid and psoriatic arthritis and secondary progressive multiple sclerosis have been very promising. Treatment of patients with rheumatoid arthritis, for example, led to a long-term remission of the disease in a number of patients.

Clinical improvement in many of the tested MS patients was also confirmed by brain images before and six months after administration of certain antibodies. Six-month MRIs showed the number of brain lesions did not significantly increase and, on average, decreased.

One type of anti-cytokine therapy affected mostly sensory difficulties and pareses, while another therapy affected mostly coordination and brain-stem function, supporting the logic of the company's combined anti-cytokine approach to fighting these diseases.

"Our company is the first in the world to try such anti-cytokine combinations in humans and the first to target a certain single cytokine," Buccellato went on to say. There is presently no cure for these diseases.

"In another first, very early results from a small trial using certain anti-cytokine antibody combinations to treat patients with schizophrenia have also been very encouraging," according to Buccellato. Hyperproduced cytokines have been found in schizophrenia, which may have an autoimmune component.

Results of these clinical trials presented in 1998 at international conferences in the United States, Israel and Europe were received with great interest.

Advanced Biotherapy Concepts is a research and development company engaged in the development of treatments for severe autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis; multiple sclerosis; systemic lupus erythematosus; insulin-dependent diabetes; and AIDS, also an autoimmune disease.

This news release includes forward-looking statements based on management's current expectations. Factors that could cause future results to differ materially from such expectations include, but are not limited to: ability to secure future funding; difficulties inherent in the development of pharmaceuticals; uncertainty as to whether adequate reimbursement will exist from government, private health-care insurers and third-party payors; and uncertainties as to the extent of future government regulation of the pharmaceutical business. In addition to the matters described in this release, timeliness for clinical ongoing activities are subject to change, and results of pending or future clinical trials cannot be accurately predicted. Readers are cautioned not to place reliance on these forward-looking statements that speak only as of today's date.

Advanced Biotherapy Concepts Inc., Woodland Hills