Section: No. 10, Vol. 14
The Australian Patents Office has granted Brisbane-based biotechnology company Promics Pty Ltd. a patent for its anti-inflammatory drug PMX-53.
The patent includes compound and method of treatment claims to PMX 53 and related compounds. Corresponding patent applications are pending in the United States, Japan, Europe and Hong Kong. Promics' drug PMX-53 acts by blocking the C5a receptor which acts earlier in the immune and inflammatory process than the targets of conventional anti-inflammatory drugs. This reduces the potential for side effects and significantly reduces the associated pain and tissue damage caused by inflammation. The drug also has the potential to act more effectively across a wider range of the population than currently available treatments.
"The collective inflammatory diseases market is the largest disease market in the world," said Alan Scott, CEO, Promics Pty Ltd. "For example, the pharmaceutical market for the five most common inflammatory related diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, sepsis, atopic dermatitis, multiple sclerosis and Alzheimer's Disease, is estimated to be worth more than US$44 billion per year."
"We have compelling animal data that suggest this drug may have significant human applications. We are on track to begin Phase Ia Human Trials at the end of this year in Europe with Phase II efficacy trials scheduled to begin in first /second quarter 2003."
"Subject to human trial results etc, this is the beginning of a significant growth path for Promics. PMX-53 may open up possible treatments for a whole range of inflammatory diseases as well as potential use in respiratory diseases, organ transplants and heart attacks. This drug PMX 53 has the potential to work across a very broad spectrum of inflammatory disease states."
"As far as we are aware, there are no therapeutic products available that work as early as C5a inhibitors in the inflammation process and PMX-53 promises to be most likely the first in a new category of drugs for these difficult to treat diseases," said Scott.
Promics has several compounds that are being developed to address a range of diseases, both human and veterinary diseases. PMX-53 is the first drug that Promics plans to take to clinical trials.
Established in December 1999, Promics Pty Ltd. is a venture capital
backed company based on technology developed at the University of Queensland.
Initial investors were Rothschild Bioscience Managers and Start-up Australia.
Promics' technology focuses on developing drugs that target C5a and G protein
coupled receptors, critically important receptors found in most parts of
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