VANCOUVER, March 10 /CNW/ - iCo Therapeutics Inc. (TSX-V: ICO) is pleased
to provide a clinical update on iCo-008, a human monoclonal antibody targeting
eotaxin-1. iCo licensed iCo-008 from MedImmune of Cambridge, UK (formerly
Cambridge Antibody Technology). iCo-008 has been in 126 patients in Phase I
and II clinical trials.
iCo plans to develop iCo-008 for Vernal Keratoconjunctivitis (VKC), a
severe ocular allergy that may pose a threat to vision. Eotaxin, a
chemo-attractant for eosinophils and a ligand for chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3),
represents a well-established target for multiple allergic conditions.
iCo-008's pre-clinical and clinical history indicates that iCo-008 may be
effective in several large market systemic indications, including severe
asthma, food allergies and allergic rhinitis. iCo plans to out-license
systemic indications on a worldwide basis, and has sufficient antibody
manufactured to enable a partner in certain additional Phase II indications.
"iCo-008 is an excellent example of iCo's reprofiling strategy at work,"
stated Andrew Rae, President & CEO of iCo. "iCo-008's systemic indications lay
outside of iCo's core expertise; however these potential billion dollar
markets would serve as a valuable near-term Phase II program for a partner."
iCo has received iCo-008 drug substance from Lonza, which was
manufactured in its cGMP facilities in Slough, UK. Subsequently iCo moved the
drug substance to a fill-finish site for the final stage of manufacturing. iCo
is pleased to report that the iCo-008 drug product is within specifications
and contains a high antibody yield. Lonza is one of the world's leading
suppliers to the pharmaceutical industry in the production of active
pharmaceutical ingredients. Lonza holds iCo's master cell bank, carried out
process development on the program and has previous experience manufacturing
iCo-008's Clinical Advisory Team
iCo Therapeutics is also pleased to announce a scientific and clinical
advisory team that will help guide the development of iCo-008. Dr. Santa Ono,
iCo's Chief Scientific Officer, is a leading authority in the fields of
immunology and ophthalmology. Professor Ono has directed multiple research and
development programs, including that of iCo-008 (formerly known as CAT-213).
Dr. Ono is currently Vice Provost for Academic Initiatives and Deputy to the
Provost at Emory University.
Dr. Andrea Leonardi is Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology in the
Department of Neuroscience, University of Padua. Dr. Leonardi is an
internationally sought opinion leader in ocular allergy and immunology. He has
published widely and been involved in clinical development in the area of VKC.
iCo-008 targets eotaxin-1, which is associated with the chemokine
receptor CCR3. iCo believes eotaxin-1 plays an important role in mast cell
degranulation and attracting eosinophils to inflammation sites - a condition
called eosinophilia. Eosinophilia can occur in a number of disorders, such as
allergic ocular disease, severe asthma, allergic rhinitis, atopic dermatitis,
and other inflammatory disorders, such as inflammatory bowel disease and
Crohn's disease. Blocking eotaxin-1 has been shown to be effective in
inhibiting early phase mast cell activation as well as late phase
eosinophilia. This broad spectrum mechanism of action is unique and
differentiates iCo-008 from other available agents.
About iCo Therapeutics
iCo Therapeutics Inc. is a Vancouver-based reprofiling company focused on
redosing or reformulating drugs with clinical history for new or expanded
indications. iCo has exclusive worldwide rights to two products, iCo-007, in
Phase I for the treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema, and iCo-008, a product
with Phase II clinical history to be developed for severe ocular allergies.
iCo Therapeutics has an exclusive option to license iCo-009, an oral
reformulation of Amphotericin B for sight and life-threatening diseases.
iCo-009 also represents a new drug delivery technology with the potential to
reprofile other IV administered drugs to the oral route of administration.
iCo Therapeutics trades on the TSX-Venture exchange under the symbol
For more information, visit the company website at:
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Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release may be considered
forward-looking. Such statements involve known and unknown risks,
uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or
achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements,
and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future
performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on iCo
Therapeutics' current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information
currently available to iCo Therapeutics and relate to, among other things,
anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory
developments, market acceptance and future commitments. Readers are cautioned
not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak
only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties,
including the risks and uncertainties identified by iCo Therapeutics in its
public securities filings; actual events may differ materially from current
expectations. iCo Therapeutics disclaims any intention or obligation to update
or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new
information, future events or otherwise.
For further information:
For further information: Business Development Contact: Dr. John Clement,
CT&DO, (778) 688-0644; Finance Contact: Mr. John Meekison, CFO, (604) 602-9414
x 224; Investor/Media Contact: Frederica Bell, Corporate Development, (604)
602-9414 x 228