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Circassia’s Grass Allergy Treatment Achieves Significant Symptom Reduction

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Imperial Innovations Group plc has announced that portfolio company Circassia has achieved successful results from a large phase II clinical study of its grass allergy treatment.

Patients who received a short course of Circassia’s ToleroMune® grass allergy treatment before the pollen season had significantly improved allergy symptoms at the end of the season, compared with those on placebo.

The phase II clinical trial was conducted in Kingston, Canada, and included 280 grass allergy sufferers who received one of three treatment regimens over three months, prior to the beginning of the pollen season.

Those who received the optimal short course had significantly improved symptoms at the end of the season compared with those on placebo.

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.

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 sensitized 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 school absences.

Other allergies for which Circassia is developing a treatment include cat, currently in phase III trials and house dust mite, currently in phase II trials.

Russ Cummings, CEO of Innovations, said: “This trial has demonstrated the potential of Circassia’s allergy treatment platform to improve symptoms for seasonal allergies, in addition to those which affect patients all year-round. The broad range of applications for this platform demonstrates the value of the technology which is being developed within portfolio companies such as Circassia.”

Steve Harris, CEO of Circassia added: “This is an excellent outcome for our clinical study - it is now the fourth of our short-course allergy treatments to achieve a statistically significant result in large phase IIb studies.

“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.”