LONDON and TURKU, FINLAND--(Marketwire - October 15, 2012) -
Ark Therapeutics has been selected to manufacture and supply Lymfactin™ to Laurantis Pharma under a conditional agreement announced today by the Finland-based companies. The agreement is subject to Laurantis receiving regulatory approval to commence its phase I clinical trial. Specific terms of the agreement are not disclosed. Lymfactin™ uses an adenoviral vector to deliver vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF-C) during transplantation of lymph nodes in order to avoid lymphedema.
The phase I clinical trial using Lymfactin™ to treat breast cancer-associated lymphedema is targeted to begin in 2013, and will recruit patients in the USA and Finland. Breast cancer-associated lymphedema is the most common form of secondary lymphedema, occurring in approximately 20% of breast cancer patients who undergo axillary lymph node dissection. The incidence is even higher in those who also receive radiotherapy, and this complication may even occur in those who undergo a lymph node biopsy as part of treatment. No therapeutic treatment currently exists to treat this disease.
In the US, approximately 110,000 patients are living with breast cancer-associated lymphedema, and nearly 15,000 new patients develop the complication each year. The number of lymphedema patients in Europe is estimated to be roughly the same as in the US.
About Laurantis Pharma Oy
Based in Turku, Finland, Laurantis is a privately held clinical-stage biotechnology company with a broad portfolio of first-in-class products based on two proprietary technologies. The Company's pipeline includes proprietary and patent-protected formulations and applications of cis-urocanic acid, a locally acting anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative agent for the treatment of Atopic Dermatitis, Dry Eye, Interstitial Cystitis, and Bladder Cancer. Laurantis is also developing Lymfactin™, a vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C) in an adenoviral vector, as a gene therapy product for the treatment of secondary lymphedema.
About Ark Therapeutics Group plc
Ark Therapeutics Group plc is a leading viral product focused contract development and manufacturing services company with world-class viral research, development and GMP manufacturing operations in Finland and the UK. Ark's business model is to offer product development and GMP manufacturing contract services for viral products, including the areas of viral mediated gene therapy, oncolytic viral vaccines, live and attenuated viral vaccines, viral vectored vaccines and virus like particles. Ark's capabilities span from translational research through preclinical and clinical product development, in addition to process and analytical development, GMP manufacture and sterile filling from pre-clinical through to commercial product supply. These capabilities have been established through the development of Ark's own products through to Marketing Authorisation Application registered with the European Medicines Agency. Following a change in business strategy in 2011, Ark is now building its business through contract development and manufacturing services and is seeking external partners to advance those products it previously had under development.
Ark's shares were first listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2004 (LSE: AKT).
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