More MS news articles for March 2001

New firm to develop treatment for MS

Thursday 22 March 2001
Paul Marck, Journal Business Writer
The Edmonton Journal

A company with a promising new treatment for multiple sclerosis patients was created Wednesday as the result of a reverse takeover.

EPS Capital Corp. (CDNX:ECC) completed its qualifying transaction, acquiring all shares of Rycor, a University of Alberta spinoff, in a share-swap transaction valued at $30 million.

At the core of the acquisition is a worldwide licence for new medical technology developed at the U of A. The technology, named MBP8298, is to treat chronic multiple sclerosis.

"It's not a cure," stressed Kevin Giese, president of the newly named company, BioMS Medical Corp.

The disease is progressive. MS results when the myelin sheath, the protein cover on a person's nerves, starts to degenerate. That causes one of a number of painful outcomes, including fatigue, urinary problems, tremors, paralysis, and speech and sight defects.

Many MS patients also suffer from permanent disabilities, eventually needing canes and other apparatus to help them remain mobile.

The technology involves intravenous injection of naturally occurring, synthetically produced, protein-based peptides to stem the damage. Phase 1 clinical trials have shown a remission rate of 61 per cent with no side-effects.

Completion of Phase 2 trials is expected before year's end. Regulatory approvals in both Canada and the U.S. have been obtained on a going-forward basis, and the company hopes to commercialize the technology.

The firm has six employees and principals and contracts its research and development with U of A, which remains a significant shareholder.

Rycor recently closed $19 million in a non-brokered private special warrant financing.

Yorkton Securities Inc. has agreed to act as sponsor in connection with the acquisition, subject to certain conditions, and will act as agent for 3.3 million units in a common-shares and warrants public offering.

Shares closed up five cents on the day at $6.01 in heavy trading of 1.2 million shares.

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