PALO ALTO, Calif., Nov. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan selected Axaron Bioscience AG, Germany, as the recipient of the Technology Innovation of the Year Award in the field of drugs for stroke therapy. Axaron's work stands at the forefront of scientific discovery and product development for treating neurodegenerative disorders. This Award recognizes its discovery of a novel molecular compound (AX200) for the treatment of central nervous system (CNS) disorders.
Each year, Frost & Sullivan presents this Award to a company that has carried out breakthrough research, which has resulted in innovations that have made or are expected to make significant contributions to the industry in terms of adoption, change, and competitive posture. The Award recognizes the quality and depth of a company's research and development program as well as the vision and risk-taking that enabled it to undertake such an endeavor.
"In contrast to many other stroke drugs, AX200 has both neuroprotective and neuroregenerative properties, and will be applicable to a broad range of stroke patients," says Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Kamal Venkitachalam. "Moreover, preclinical data suggests that AX200 may ultimately be combined with thrombolytic therapy, a feature that would lead to an increased benefit for this patient group."
Stroke recovery represents an important, but relatively untapped opportunity for the development of new treatments and Axaron discovered that Granulocyte-Colony Stimulating Factor (G-CSF) provides an exciting novel concept in this field.
"G-CSF is a novel opportunity in stroke therapy that unites at least a dual activity in one molecule, with a strong emphasis on regeneration after stroke alongside a neuroprotective function," explains Venkitachalam.
G-CSF's action counteracts loss of neurons in the brain by preventing neuronal cell death. It stimulates neurogenesis making it suitable for acute stroke treatment, as a pro-regenerative drug in stroke rehabilitation and for a number of other neurodegenerative indications and maybe also for psychiatric diseases.
Axaron Bioscience is exploiting the unique potential of G-CSF across a broad range of CNS indications, starting with acute ischemic stroke, which has a broad pre-clinical databases and significant market opportunity.
In comparison to recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rt-PA), G-CSF's value in the treatment of acute ischemic stroke lies in its multiple mechanisms-of-action, a high pre-clinical validity basis from a large number of independent labs, and reduced development risks due to excellent clinical tolerability.
The company has also initiated a Phase IIa dose-escalation trial to assess the tolerability of AX200 (G-CSF) in stroke patients. In addition, trials are expected to target the chronic stroke population and exploit the regenerative capacities of AX200.
Axaron Bioscience has already applied for broad, worldwide patent protection for its work in the area of G-CSF and has obtained exclusive licenses to other patents in that area to substantiate its position. At the end of 2002, Axaron Bioscience filed the U.S. patent application, claiming the use of G-CSF for the treatment of neurological conditions such as stroke, neurotrauma, Parkinson's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
Though AX200 is yet to be commercialized, Axaron Bioscience is carrying on its excellent work in this field and has already taken the initiative to develop two other related products for neurodegenerative diseases: AX201, a protein drug, which has an activity profile similar to the AX200; and AX208, a small molecule compound with excellent neuroprotective properties.
Held in Miami, Frost & Sullivan's Best Practices Awards Banquet honors world-class companies for contributing innovative developments to the pharmaceutical and life sciences industry, as well as companies yielding emerging technologies in a variety of fields. An annual event, the banquet recognizes the quality and merit of distinguished individuals and companies that deliver unparalleled insight on the industry, products and services.
About Axaron Bioscience AG
Axaron Bioscience AG, based in Heidelberg, Germany, is a biotech company that aims to develop drugs for neurodegenerative disorders. The company has built an attractive portfolio of compounds focused on the treatment of stroke, ALS (Amyotrophe Lateralsklerose), spinal cord injuries, Chorea Huntington and Morbus Parkinson. The most advanced drug candidate AX200 has entered a phase II stroke trial in 2004. Axaron was founded in 1997 as a joint venture between BASF Aktiengesellschaft and the American biotechnology company Lynx Therapeutics, Inc. Since 2001 it has been an independent company with currently 35 employees. For further information please visit http://www.axaron.com
Dr. Alexander Pschera
Axaron Bioscience AG
Im Neuenheimer Feld 515
Tel.: 0049-(0)6221 454-705
Fax: 0049-(0)6221 454-776
About Frost & Sullivan
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