Novosom AG Acquires Exclusive License from Isis Pharmaceuticals for CD40-Targeted Antisense Inhibitors
News Aug 26, 2008
Novosom plans to target CD40, a well established target for both inflammatory diseases and B-cell cancers, for indications such as Crohn's disease, organ transplant or rheumatoid arthritis. Novosom will use its proprietary Smarticles® technology to enhance the systemic delivery of antisense targeting CD40. Compared to the anti-inflammatory blockbuster Remicade, this encapsulated antisense approach has demonstrated targeted delivery to specific cell types with a rapid onset of action and superior in vivo efficacy.
Elias Papatheodorou, CEO of Novosom AG, commented: “This license deal marks a very important milestone for Novosom AG in antisense drug development. It follows two other important milestones: this year’s successful IND and the granting of our umbrella patents for the Smarticles siRNA and antisense delivery technology in the US and EU. We are also excited to be working with Isis’ antisense 2’ MOE chemistry for CD40 inhibitors. This, complemented with our Smarticles® delivery technology, is showing tremendous promise in animal models of multiple inflammatory diseases.”
Dr. Steffen Panzner, Founder and CSO of Novosom AG, added: “The preclinical data set is exciting in terms of efficacy and tolerability and we look very much forward to bringing this oligonucleotide/delivery combination into the drug development process. This will be the second systemically delivered oligonucleotide drug using our Smarticles® technology to enter the clinic. Our agreement with Isis Pharmaceuticals allows us to further expand the current established safety and efficacy of our Smarticles® delivery platform.”
“We are pleased to have Novosom as a partner in advancing our antisense CD40 inhibitors,” said Dr. Frank Bennett, Isis Senior Vice President of Research. “Novosom is pioneering a new combination of Smarticles® with antisense inhibitors to CD40 which will add another novel drug to our pipeline of promising antisense drugs that target a broad range of diseases . We look forward to further collaborating with Novosom on the development of CD40 antisense oligonucleotides.”
In treating inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), physicians can have a hard time telling which newly diagnosed patients have a high risk of severe inflammation or what therapies will be most effective. Now researchers report finding an epigenetic signature in patient cells that appears to predict inflammation risk in a serious type of IBD called Crohn’s disease.