iCo Therapeutics Grants License Option for Bertilimumab (iCo-008) Systemic Uses to Immune Pharmaceuticals for US$33 Million Plus Royalties
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 8, 2010) - iCo Therapeutics Inc. (TSX VENTURE:ICO) (the "Company") today announced that iCo has granted Immune Pharmaceuticals (IMPH), based in Israel and the United States, an option to an exclusive license for the development and commercialization rights to the systemic uses of iCo-008, iCo's human monoclonal antibody targeting eotaxin-1.
License Option is for systemic uses including: Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Severe Asthma.
iCo has retained worldwide exclusive rights to all ocular applications.
IMPH will pay iCo a non-refundable option fee creditable upon conversion against an upfront license fee payment of US $1 million.
iCo may receive up to an additional US$32 million in milestone payments as well as royalties on net sales of licensed products.
Non ocular uses of the drug may include asthma and prevalent inflammatory bowel conditions. iCo will retain worldwide exclusive rights to all uses and applications in the ocular field. iCo estimates the market for ocular applications, including age-related macular degeneration and sight-threatening ocular allergies exceeds $2 billion.
"iCo has retained the rights to all ocular indications for iCo-008. Research has shown that iCo-008 interdicts a well-established target involving several potentially devastating and large market ocular diseases, and we look forward to enabling multiple late stage trials in these indications," stated Andrew Rae, President & CEO of iCo Therapeutics. "In addition, iCo remains focused on advancing the company's lead program, iCo-007, into a Phase II trial in Diabetic Macular Edema in early 2011."
Dr. Daniel Teper, CEO of Immune Pharmaceuticals stated, "A close relationship has been established between eotaxin levels and disease activity in patients with severe gastro-intestinal or respiratory conditions. Bertilimumab promises to be a first in class human monoclonal antibody, opening new treatment options in Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Severe Asthma."
Immune Pharmaceuticals plans to prepare Bertilimumab for several Phase II clinical programs in a number of inflammatory conditions, starting with Crohn's Disease.
iCo-008 (also known as Bertilimumab or CAT-213) is a human immunoglobulin monoclonal antibody targeting eotaxin-1, a member of the chemokine family of proteins that act as messenger molecules between the cells of the immune system. iCo-008 has been in 126 patients in Phase I and II studies, has a good safety profile and has shown evidence of efficacy in a severe allergy indication. iCo-008 may be indicated for inflammatory disorders including severe asthma, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.
Recent published scientific literature (Takeda et al, Nature 2009. "CCR3 is a Target for Age-related Macular Degeneration Diagnosis and Therapy") has indicated that iCo-008, a ligand for CCR3, may be effective in treating wet age related macular degeneration (wAMD). iCo is currently planning exploratory studies for iCo-008 in wAMD and a Phase II study in severe ocular allergies (vernal & atopic keratoconjunctivitis).
iCo licensed the exclusive world-wide rights to iCo-008 in 2007 from MedImmune Limited (formerly known as Cambridge Antibody Technology Limited), the biologics division of AstraZeneca.
About iCo Therapeutics
iCo Therapeutics Inc. is a Vancouver-based reprofiling company focused on redosing or reformulating drugs with clinical history for new or expanded indications. iCo has exclusive worldwide rights to three products: iCo-007, moving into Phase II for the treatment of DME, iCo-008; a product with Phase II clinical history to be developed for severe ocular allergies and age-related macular degeneration; and iCo-009, an oral formulation of Amphotericin B for sight and life-threatening diseases. iCo-009 also represents a new drug delivery technology with the potential to reprofile other parenteral administered drugs to the oral route of administration. iCo was recently awarded a Gold Leaf Award as the Early Stage Company of the Year from BIOTECanada and is a Canada's Top 10TM Competition winner. iCo trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "ICO". For more information, visit the Company website at: www.icotherapeutics.com.
About Immune Pharmaceuticals
Immune Pharmaceuticals is an Israel and U.S. based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies addressing significant unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer, inflammation, and infectious diseases. Immune Pharmaceuticals has built a robust pipeline of clinical and pre-clinical candidates based on novel targets and fully human antibody technology. For more information, visit the Company website at: http://immunepharmaceuticals.com.