OXFORD, England, Sept. 10 /CNW/ - Circassia Ltd, a specialty
biopharmaceutical company focused on controlling immune system responses,
today announced positive results from a phase II clinical study of its
anti-allergy technology, ToleroMune(R), in the field of cat allergy. The trial
showed that ToleroMune treatment can substantially reduce allergic reactions
to the allergen that causes most cat allergies, and importantly was well
tolerated by all patients.
Circassia conducted the double-blind study in Germany, where patients
with a confirmed history of cat allergies received a single dose of ToleroMune
therapy or placebo. The 88 study participants were divided into groups, with
each receiving a different dose, either via subcutaneous or intradermal
injection to compare the two routes of administration. To test the effect of
the treatment, patients received a microscopic dose of cat dander (the main
allergen responsible for cat allergies) into their skin several weeks later.
Patients who received ToleroMune therapy via the most effective administration
route had markedly reduced skin reactions to the cat allergen at all of the
five dose levels tested compared with placebo. The most effective dose reduced
reactions by over 40%, compared with 10% for placebo. Throughout the study the
ToleroMune treatment proved well tolerated, with no serious or severe adverse
events experienced in any of the groups, despite the steadily increasing
"These results are extremely encouraging, both for Circassia and the huge
number of people who suffer from allergies. Current treatment options address
the symptoms only or require repeated administrations over many months under
specialist supervision because of the potential for serious and even
life-threatening side effects, which is a particularly important issue for cat
allergy therapies. Therefore, achieving a marked reduction in allergic
responses after just a single dose is remarkable, and we aim to build on this
by testing short treatments of several doses in future trials," said Steve
Harris, Circassia's CEO. "Our goal for ToleroMune is to provide a range of
allergy therapies that effectively and quickly treat the underlying disease
while also offering excellent safety. Consequently, these positive clinical
results will not only contribute to the development of our cat allergy
product, but will also provide the foundations for our other allergy
programmes that utilize our ToleroMune technology."
In addition to their potential clinical benefits, Circassia's
anti-allergy products would have significant market opportunities. Currently,
over 150 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the US and Europe and
the market for current treatments, despite their limitations, is approximately
$12 billion per year. The prevalence of cat-dander allergy is high, with
1-in-6 Americans and nearly 10% of Europeans suffering from the condition.
Existing treatments have a number of issues, either providing symptomatic
relief only or requiring lengthy supervision by specialist physicians. In
contrast, Circassia's ToleroMune technology has the potential to rapidly
desensitize sufferers using extremely small sections of allergens (termed
T-cell epitopes), which minimizes the potential for adverse reactions.
Circassia is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on developing
medicines designed to control immune system responses. The company has a
highly experienced management team with a proven track record in product
development and commercialization, and having successfully completed two
fundraising rounds is backed by a syndicate of world-class venture capital and
institutional investors, including Imperial Innovations, Lansdowne Partners,
Goldman Sachs and Invesco Perpetual.
Circassia's lead products target allergies utilizing the company's
proprietary T-cell epitope desensitization technology, ToleroMune. The company
is also developing its ToleroTrans organ anti-rejection technology, which uses
a similar approach to down-regulate immune responses in transplant patients.
For more information please visit http://www.circassia.co.uk.
For further information:
For further information: Steve Harris, CEO, Circassia, Tel:
+44(0)1865-784574; Rob Budge, RJB Communications, Tel: +44(0)1865-760969,