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Circassia’s Cat Allergy Treatment Shows Sustained Symptom Improvement

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Imperial Innovations Group plc has announced that portfolio company Circassia, the speciality biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, has seen strong results from its follow up phase II clinical trial.

Patients saw a sustained improvement of their cat allergy symptoms two years after they started a four-dose, 12 week course of Circassia’s ToleroMune® cat allergy treatment.

The phase II study originally measured the level of patients’ symptoms following Toleromune® treatment, compared with placebo. Two years later, and having received no further ToleroMune® treatment, 50 of the original 202 patients were reassessed.

The study showed that these patients maintained consistent symptom improvements both 12 and 24 months after the start of the treatment and found that the treatment reduced symptoms by two and a half to three times the level achieved by other allergy therapies in similar studies.

Circassia is currently conducting a phase III multinational study to test the safety and efficacy of the ToleroMune® treatment in approximately 1,200 subjects from the United States, Canada and Europe and results are expected in 2014.

The ToleroMune® allergy treatment is based on an approach of using synthetic peptides identified from allergens to induce immune tolerance in the body by generating regulatory T-cells which suppress allergic responses.

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 a long-lasting impact on the disease is available.

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.

These long term results of Circassia’s phase II trial were presented at the 2013 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI) in San Antonio, USA on Sunday 24 February.

Circassia has also completed successful phase II studies for its treatments for grass, house dust mite and ragweed allergies.

Susan Searle, Chief Executive Officer, Imperial Innovations, said: “These strong long-term results for Circassia’s cat allergy treatment are very exciting and reinforce the great potential of the business and its ToleroMune® platform. Circassia is one of our largest assets and this success endorses our approach to building larger companies for longer.”

Steve Harris, Chief Executive Officer of Circassia, said: “We are extremely encouraged by these excellent clinical results which strongly support our decision to progress our cat allergy treatment trials to phase III. Offering patients sustained symptom control without the need for ongoing treatment is an important objective for allergy therapy. Our ToleroMune® treatment reduced symptoms by two and a half to three times the level achieved by several other allergy therapies in similar studies, and has now been shown to maintain that improvement for the long-term, demonstrating its potential to greatly improve the lives of patients around the world.”