More MS news articles for Oct 2001

Phase II Clinical Trial for Active Biotech's Multiple Sclerosis Drug SAIK-MS

Thu, Oct 25 10:10 AM EDT

LUND, Sweden (BUSINESS WIRE) - The Principal Investigator of the SAIK-MS Phase II study will be Professor Chris Polman at VU Medical Centre in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Chris Polman is Professor of Neurology at the Free University as well as Clinical and Scientific Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Centre at the VU Medical Centre. Professor Polman is one of Europe's leading MS specialists.

The Phase II study of Active Biotech's (Stockholm Stock Exchange: ACTIb.ST) multiple sclerosis drug SAIK-MS will be performed as a multicenter study, with trial centers in the UK, the Netherlands and Sweden. The aim of the study is to demonstrate that SAIK-MS has a therapeutic effect on multiple sclerosis. The treatment of patients is expected to start during the first quarter 2002. The study is planned to run for 18 months.

Evaluation of the study will be done by frequent MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) measurements of the brain lesions related to the disease. In addition, clinical score evaluation of the patients disability will be performed. The MRI evaluation will be centralised and done under the supervision of Frederik Barkhof, Professor of Neuroradiology and Senior Researcher at the MS-MRI Research Centre, and Director of the Image Analysis Centre (IAC) at the VU Medical Centre, Amsterdam.

Both Professor Polman and Professor Barkhof have an extensive experience of the clinical development of immunomodulatory compounds like the SAIK-MS drug.

"Through the collaboration with Professor Polman and Professor Barkof, we get access to leading clinical expertise for the treatment of multiple sclerosis. We are very pleased to be able to perform our Phase II study in cooperation with this reputable centre", says Sven Andreasson, President & CEO Active Biotech.

Before summer 2001, the successful results from Phase I trials of the drug were reported. The Maximal Tolerable Dose (MTD) in MS patients was defined. The therapeutic dose range calculated from pre-clinical data is estimated well below which gives a considerably large safety margin with respect to toxicity.

SAIK-MS has previously shown good efficacy in experimental models of MS. Also based on previous experience from a closely related product, the company has great confidence in the success of the Phase II study. The SAIK product is patented by Active Biotech in Europe, USA and Japan, with an expire year of 2019.

There is currently no treatment to halt MS, although beta interferon injections have been demonstrated to reduce the frequency and severity of relapses in some MS patients. Active Biotechs product SAIK-MS is assumed to target a new mode of action, which is expected to give an improved result. The product has also the significant competitive advantage of being available in tablet form.

The first oral MS drug that reaches the market will have a great potential to capture a large part of the MS market. There are today over 1 million MS sufferers all over the world, with an increase of around 30% estimated over the next four years. The value of the total market for MS drugs is currently 2.3 BUSD (UBS Warburg Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, April 2001).

Active Biotech is a biotechnology company focusing on research in and development of pharmaceuticals. Active Biotech has a strong R&D portfolio and pipeline products with focus primarily on autoimmune/inflammatory diseases and cancer. Main platforms include orally administered small molecules with unique immunomodulatory properties that can be used to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases, as well as a novel concept for use in cancer immunotherapy.

©2001 At Home Corporation