Imperial Innovations Group plc has announced that its portfolio company, Circassia has initiated a pivotal large-scale phase III clinical study of its ToleroMune® cat allergy treatment.
Allergies are a significant global health issue. Tens of millions of people are allergic to cats in the United States and Europe, and the disease can have a major effect on patients’ quality of life. Currently no short, simple treatment with long-lasting impact on the disease is available.
Circassia’s phase III multinational study will test safety and efficacy of the ToleroMune® treatment in approximately 1,200 subjects from the United States, Canada and Europe.
It follows positive phase II results published last month, which showed that patients had a significantly greater reduction in symptoms compared with placebo one year after the start of the study, despite only receiving a four-dose course of treatment over 12 weeks.
Allergic rhinoconjunctivitis (ARC) affects 30% of adults and 40% of children in developed countries, and the prevalence is rising.
In Continental Europe and the US, cat-allergen induced ARC, for which the ToleroMune® cat allergy treatment is designed, is one of the commonest forms and affects 10-15% of those with ARC or asthma.
Circassia has successfully completed five investment rounds to date, raising a total of £105m for the development of a range of ToleroMune® allergy treatments based on an approach of using synthetic allergen-derived peptides to induce immune tolerance by generating regulatory T-cells that suppress allergic immune responses.
Circassia has now completed phase II studies with its four leading treatments for cat, grass, house dust mite and ragweed allergies validating the Company’s scientific approach.
Susan Searle, CEO of Imperial Innovations said: “Circassia is one of our most advanced companies. We are pleased to see the Company continuing to deliver with the significant resources it has following the £72m fundraisings we led over the last 18 months. Taking its lead treatment into the advanced stages of clinical trials is a major milestone, and demonstrates the value being created in our portfolio, and the quality of the enterprises in which we invest.”
Steve Harris, Circassia’s CEO said: “Circassia’s goal is to revolutionize the treatment of allergy, and the start of this phase III study is a major strategic milestone in this endeavour. We believe our ToleroMune® technology has the potential to address the major unmet medical need for a short, simple treatment with long-lasting impact on cat allergies, and our initiation of the final phase of clinical development demonstrates our commitment to helping improve patients’ lives.”