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OxyPharma Announces Selection of Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Drug Development Candidate
STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 5, 2005--Swedish drug development company OxyPharma has selected a candidate drug (CD) for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS) from its autoimmune diseases drug discovery program. The selected compound, Rob 895, is now ready to go into a full-scale pre-clinical program.
Rob 895 has been developed from OxyPharma's patented lead compound B-220, from which OxyPharma has developed several analogue substances, which in animal studies have shown very promising results for the treatment of both MS and rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
Based on the successful completion of the pre-clinical program for Rob 895, OxyPharma intends to submit a regulatory filing for the initiation of first-time-in-human clinical studies.
The selected compound (Rob 895) is the second drug candidate arising from OxyPharma's drug discovery program. Last year, OxyPharma selected Rob 803 as its candidate drug for the treatment of RA. OxyPharma is currently conducting toxicological studies of Rob 803 and intends to start Phase IIa clinical studies of the compound in early 2006.
Additional research has demonstrated Rob 895 to be a more attractive drug candidate than the lead compound for pharmaceutical development due to properties that include improved potency, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmaceutics.
MS is a chronic, inflammatory condition to the nervous system afflicting approximately 2.5 million people worldwide. Most patients diagnosed with MS are between the ages of 30 and 50, and the disease has a medium duration of more than 30 years. The value of the MS market was USD 3.5bn in 2003, and is growing rapidly.
At present, there are no effective, safe and easily administrated drugs for the treatment of neither MS nor RA. Animal studies indicate that OxyPharma's small molecule substances can be effective, easy to administrate orally and may be produced at low cost compared to present alternatives for the treatment of both diseases.
OxyPharma is a Swedish drug development company developing new drugs primarily for the treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). The development of the drugs are done in collaboration with e.g. the Karolinska Institute in Sweden and contract research organizations (CRO's) in England, Sweden and Israel. OxyPharma was founded in 2002 and is based in Stockholm, Sweden. The company's largest shareholder is innovator and entrepreneur Leif Lundblad. Ulf Björklund is OxyPharma's CEO.
OxyPharma is presently conducting a financing round of SEK 80-130m aimed at primarily European investors. The objective is to secure the midterm need for operative capital to further develop OxyPharma's RA and MS drugs (e.g. by clinical studies).
For additional information please contact:
Ulf Björklund CEO, OxyPharma AB Phone: +46 8 726 17 02 or +46 70 667 04 40
Peter Karaszi Press Officer, OxyPharma AB Phone: +27 21 439 8806 or +27 83 243 5797