PERTH, AUSTRALIA, 21 February 2011 – Australian drug discovery company, Phylogica Ltd (ASX: PYC), has successfully demonstrated preclinical proof of concept with a PhylomerÒ peptide drug candidate for the treatment of traumatic brain injury.
Using an internationally established preclinical model, a three-year collaborative study with the Australian Neuromuscular Research Institute and the University of Tasmania has shown the compound, known as PYCAG5, is able to protect neural tissue at lesion sites and significantly reduce inflammation. The peptide was identified using Phylogica’s proprietary Phylomer drug discovery platform and the study was funded by the Neurotrauma Research Program (NRP) of the Western Australia Institute of Medical Research.
Phylogica CEO, Dr Paul Watt, said he was “particularly encouraged” by these results, which could eventually pave the way for better outcomes in head injury patients around the world. “While several Phylomer peptides showed neuroprotective activity in this brain trauma model this particular peptide, PYCAG5, showed outcomes most consistent with therapeutic potential,” he said.
“This Phylomer significantly protected neural issue in the vicinity of the lesion at four days after the induced head injury and decreased the extent of inflammation, increasing the potential for healing at seven days post injury.”
Dr Watt indicated the average loss of neurons from the injured region treated with Phylomer PYCAG5 was less than a third of the average loss observed for mock-treated control animals, or animals treated with a non-Phylomer peptide.
“Furthermore this particular Phylomer was associated with the largest increase in axonal sprouting relative to neuronal loss at four and seven days post-injury, which could increase the likelihood of brain tissue recovery in the damaged area.”
Dr Watt said the Phylomer drug was only administered upon injury, but its protective effects appeared to be ongoing. “With controlled release delivery approaches, even better results could be expected, through maintaining concentrations of Phylomers at the site of injury,” Dr Watt added.
Phylogica is now pursuing partnering opportunities with major pharmaceutical and biotech companies for further development of its lead candidate, PYCAG5, and the Company’s other neuroprotective Phylomers. This out-licensing strategy is consistent with Phylogica’s discovery alliance focused business model.
Dr Watt added: “These discoveries are an important validation of the enormous potential of Phylomers as drug candidates for a diverse range of diseases. They also help cement Phylogica’s position as a leader in the field of peptide drug discovery against intracellular disease-associated targets.”
For further information, please contact:
CFO, VP, Corporate Development
Aus Mobile: +61 417 986 005
Dr Paul Watt
UK Mobile: +44 7775682478 firstname.lastname@example.org
Phylogica Limited (ASX: PYC) is biotechnology company based in Perth, Australia and Oxford UK, with a world-class drug discovery platform harnessing the rich biodiversity of nature to discover novel peptide therapeutics. The Company was incorporated in 2001 as a spin out from the Telethon Institute for Child Health Research (Perth, Australia). Phylogica’s strategy is to accelerate cash sustainability by focusing on collaborative drug discovery partnerships. The Company’s Phylomer® libraries have been optimised by natural evolutionary selection for peptides with stable drug-like structures. The unique qualities of Phylogica’s Phylomer libraries are validated by its partnerships with Roche, MedImmune (the worldwide biologics unit of AstraZeneca) and Pfizer.
About Phylomer® Peptides
Phylomer peptides are derived from biodiverse natural sequences, which have been selected by evolution to form stable structures, which can bind tightly, and specifically to disease associated target proteins, both inside and outside cells. Suitable targets for blockade by Phylomers include protein interactions that promote multiple diseases, such as infectious diseases, cancer, autoimmunity, and heart disease. Phylomer peptides can have drug-like properties, including specificity, potency and thermal stability, and are capable of being produced by synthetic or recombinant manufacturing processes. Phylomer peptides are also readily formulated for administration by a number of means, including parenteral or intranasal delivery approaches.
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