October 10, 2002 Thursday PrimeZone Media Network
LUND, Sweden, Oct. 10, 2002 (PRIMEZONE) -- At the Medicon Valley BioConference in Malmo, Active Biotech (Other OTC:ACTBF) today published new data about the development of its SAIK-MS substance for use in treating multiple sclerosis (MS).
Data was presented showing that oral treatment with SAIKMS (Laquinimod) in tablet form inhibits the progress of the disease in various MS-like animal models. Laquinimod is the generic name given by the World Health Organisation, WHO, to the SAIK-MS substance. SAIK-MS proved to be 100 times more effective than Pharmacia's predecessor, Linomide (Roquinimex), in inhibiting the progress of the disease in an MS disease model (based on the level of free substance in plasma). The infiltration of the CNS by white blood cells that is so characteristic of the disease was completely inhibited. This is important because this infiltration process is thought to be linked to the breakdown of nerve functions linked to the development of MS.
Many MS patients are currently treated with frequent injections of beta-interferon. Trials on animals lacking the beta-interferon gene show that SAIK-MS is as effective in these animals as in control animals that can express beta-interferon. These results support the hypothesis that the SAIK-MS mechanism is novel and unrelated to the limited therapeutic activity of existing beta-interferon drugs.
The results also provide a summary of the way the new Phase I dose-escalation study was designed to rapidly reach levels at which effects could be expected. In terms of enhancing the efficiency of continued drug development, these results demonstrate the importance of acquiring information at an early stage about the way candidate drugs are metabolised by the body. They also demonstrate how data from pre-clinical models is being used to select safe and effective doses for the ongoing Phase II study.
A Phase II clinical study of SAIKMS is currently being conducted in the form of a European multicentre study (see press release dated April 11. 2002) covering a total of 180 MS patients at 20 different European clinics.
Lund 10 October 2002 Active Biotech AB (publ)
Sven Andreasson, President & CEO
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. Most advanced projects (clinical trials phase II) include orally administered small molecules with unique immunomodulatory properties that can be used to treat autoimmune and inflammatory diseases (SAIK), as well as a novel concept for use in cancer immunotherapy (TTS).
Active Biotech ABP.O. Box 724, SE220 07 Lund Tel.: 46 4619 20 00 Fax: 46 4619 20 50
CONTACT: Active Biotech Thore Nederman, Head of Project Management 46 4619 20 15
Cecilia Hofvander, Manager Corporate Communication 46 46 19 11 22
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