New ToleroMune(R) Treatment Extends Circassia's Clinical-Stage Portfolio
OXFORD, England, May 13 /CNW/ - Circassia Ltd, a specialty
biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, today announced that it has
initiated a phase II clinical development programme for its ragweed allergy
therapy. The treatment for allergic rhino-conjunctivitis caused by ragweed
pollen is based on Circassia's ToleroMune(R) technology, which has previously
achieved successful phase II results in patients with cat allergies. Ragweed
is one of the leading causes of allergic reactions in North America, where
allergies to its pollen are commonly referred to as 'hay fever'.
Circassia is undertaking its latest phase II clinical study in Canada.
The double-blind, randomised trial will include 50 patients with confirmed
ragweed allergies, and will compare a range of ToleroMune doses with placebo.
Unlike most current immunotherapies, which require careful dose escalation
over many months and several years of maintenance doses, patients will receive
just four standardized doses of ToleroMune treatment over a number of weeks.
During the trial investigators will 'challenge' the volunteers with ragweed
pollen to assess the impact of the therapy.
"Broadening the range of allergies targeted by ToleroMune is an important
step for Circassia, underlining our confidence in this breakthrough
technology. We have already achieved encouraging results in patients with cat
allergies, and are excited to be extending our portfolio of therapies to
encompass ragweed allergy," said Steve Harris, Circassia's CEO. "Allergies to
ragweed pollen are very common in the US, where they affect over a quarter of
the population, and are a growing problem in Europe. We believe that
Circassia's new therapy should offer patients important benefits, as
ToleroMune has the potential to address the underlying cause of allergy using
short, simple courses of treatment that minimize the risk of severe and
sometimes life-threatening side effects associated with many existing
Circassia is a specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on the field
of allergy. The company's range of allergy therapeutics utilizes its
proprietary T-cell epitope desensitization technology, ToleroMune. Circassia's
products offer potential major clinical benefits compared with existing
therapies, and consequently have significant market opportunities. Over 150
million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the US and Europe, and the
current treatment market is approximately $12 billion per year.
ToleroMune technology has additional potential regulatory and supply
benefits for Circassia. Its state-of-the-art manufacturing fits with changes
in the European regulatory environment, where authorities are increasingly
treating allergen immunotherapies as pharmaceutical products, and eliminating
the batch-to-batch potency variability that is an intrinsic feature of many
Circassia has a highly experienced management team with a proven track
record in product development and commercialization. Having successfully
completed two fundraising rounds the company is backed by a syndicate of
world-class venture capital and institutional investors, including Imperial
Innovations, Lansdowne Partners, Goldman Sachs and Invesco Perpetual.
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