OXFORD, England, Oct. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Circassia Ltd, a specialty
biopharmaceutical company focused on developing world-class
immunotherapies, today announced successful results from a large phase
II clinical study of its ToleroMune® grass allergy treatment
(Grass-Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitope [Grass-SPIRE]).
Patients who received a short course of treatment before the pollen
season had significantly improved allergy symptoms at the end of the
season, compared with those on placebo. The Grass-SPIRE treatment was
extremely well tolerated.
"We are delighted with the excellent outcome in this clinical study, as
this is now the fourth of our short-course SPIRE allergy treatments to
achieve a statistically significant result in large phase IIb studies,"
said Steve Harris, Circassia's Chief Executive. "In many countries, including the US and Europe, grass pollen is the
most common cause of seasonal allergy. As a result, grass allergy is a
major problem causing suffering for many millions of people each year
and significant lost productivity. By dramatically improving patients'
symptoms after just a short course, our grass allergy therapy has the
potential to transform the treatment of this highly prevalent immune
disorder and improve sufferers' quality of life."
The double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study included 280
grass allergy sufferers. During the trial, which was conducted in
Kingston, Canada, subjects recorded their allergy symptoms while
exposed to grass pollen in a controlled environmental unit, both before
treatment and at the end of the hay fever season. Study participants
received one of three treatment regimens over three months, which were
completed prior to the beginning of the pollen season. Those who
received the optimal short course of SPIRE therapy had significantly
improved symptoms at the end of the season compared with those on
placebo (p<0.05). The treatment regimen was well tolerated, with a
safety profile similar to placebo. Circassia plans to present the study
results at a forthcoming leading scientific conference.
About grass allergy
Grass allergy, commonly referred to as hay fever, is extremely
prevalent. In Europe and the United States grasses are the most common
cause of seasonal allergy, with approximately 15 - 25% of the
population sensitised to pollen from different species. Grass allergy
can debilitate sufferers during the months when pollen is released,
resulting in poor concentration, reduced performance and workplace and
About ToleroMune® technology
Circassia is developing a range of allergy treatments based on its
novel, proprietary ToleroMune® technology. This uses
rationally-designed molecules identified from common allergens
(Synthetic Peptide Immuno-Regulatory Epitopes; SPIREs) to generate
regulatory T cells to control allergic responses and induce immune
tolerance. Circassia has achieved successful phase II results with its
cat, house dust mite, ragweed and grass allergy therapies, and its cat
allergy treatment entered phase III testing in October 2012.
Clinical results show that short, simple courses of SPIRE allergy
treatments can greatly reduce patients' allergic responses and improve
symptoms over long periods, while proving extremely well tolerated. As
a result, SPIRE treatments offer major potential clinical benefits
compared with existing therapies, and have significant market
opportunities. More than 150 million people suffer from allergic
rhinitis in the US and Europe, and the current treatment market is
valued at approximately $12 billion per year.
Circassia was founded by a team of highly experienced biotechnology
scientists and entrepreneurs. The company is based in the UK on the
Oxford Science Park, and its joint venture with McMaster University
(Adiga Life Sciences Inc) is located in Hamilton, Canada. Circassia's
ToleroMune® technology was developed originally by scientists at
Imperial College, London. Having successfully completed five
fundraising rounds, Circassia has raised approximately £105 million
($178 million) and is backed by a syndicate of world-class
institutional investors, including Imperial Innovations and Invesco
SOURCE: Circassia Ltd
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