CARLSBAD, Calif., Jan. 4 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- The Immune Response Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: IMRP - News), an immuno-pharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat autoimmune and infectious diseases, announced today that it received a milestone payment of $900,000 from NovaRx Corporation.
Immune Response in-licensed the development and marketing rights to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center's patent portfolio for cancer cell line vaccines. In August 2004, Immune Response then entered into an agreement transferring those development and marketing rights to NovaRx Corporation, a privately-held company dedicated to developing therapeutic vaccines to treat cancer. This agreement called for, among other things, a $900,000 payment to Immune Response in August 2007, to be accelerated if NovaRx achieved commercialization or financing milestones. NovaRx recently achieved the financing milestone, and accordingly paid the $900,000.
"We are pleased with the progress NovaRx continues to make with the cancer cell line vaccines," said Dr. Joseph O'Neill, President and CEO of Immune Response. "In addition, this milestone payment further strengthens our balance sheet which will enable us to further the progress of our key products NeuroVax(TM), an investigational T-cell receptor (TCR) peptide vaccine for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS), and IR103, for the treatment of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), both of which are at critical stages of their development."
About The Immune Response Corporation
The Immune Response Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: IMRP - News) is an immuno-pharmaceutical company focused on developing products to treat autoimmune and infectious diseases. The Company's lead immune-based therapeutic product candidates are NeuroVax(TM) for the treatment of MS and IR103 for the treatment of HIV infection. Both of these therapies are in Phase II clinical development and are designed to stimulate disease pathogen-specific immune responses aimed at slowing or halting the rate of disease progression.
NeuroVax(TM), which is based on the Company's patented T-cell receptor (TCR) peptide vaccine technology, has shown potential clinical value in the treatment of relapsing forms of MS. NeuroVax(TM) has been shown to stimulate strong, disease-specific cell-mediated immunity in nearly all patients treated and appears to work by enhancing levels of FOXP3+ Treg cells that are able to down regulate the activity of pathogenic T-cells that cause MS. Increasing scientific findings have associated diminished levels of FOXP3+ Treg cell responses with the pathogenesis and progression of MS and other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis and Crohn's disease. In addition to MS, the Company has open Investigational New Drug Applications (IND) with the FDA for clinical evaluation of TCR peptide-based immune-based therapies for RA and psoriasis.
IR103 is based on the Company's patented, whole-inactivated virus technology, co-invented by Dr. Jonas Salk and indicated to be safe and immunogenic in extensive clinical studies of REMUNE®, the Company's first generation HIV product candidate. IR103 may be a more potent formulation that combines its whole-inactivated antigen with a synthetic Toll-like receptor (TLR-9) agonist with the intent to create enhanced HIV-specific immune responses. The Company is currently testing IR103 in two Phase II clinical studies as a first-line treatment for drug-naive HIV-infected individuals not yet eligible for antiretroviral therapy according to current medical guidelines.
NeuroVax(TM) and IR103 are in clinical development by The Immune Response Corporation and are not approved by any regulatory agencies in any country at this time. Please visit The Immune Response Corporation at www.imnr.com.
This news release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are often signaled by forms of words such as should, could, will, might, plan, projection, forecast, expect, guidance, potential and developing. Actual results could vary materially from those expected due to a variety of risk factors, including whether the Company will continue as a going concern and successfully raise proceeds from financing activities sufficient to fund operations and additional clinical trials of NeuroVax(TM) or IR103, the uncertainty of successful completion of any such clinical trials, the fact that the Company has not succeeded in commercializing any drug, the risk that NeuroVax(TM) or IR103 might not prove to be effective as either a therapeutic or preventive vaccine, whether future trials will be conducted and whether the results of such trials will coincide with the results of NeuroVax(TM) or IR103 in preclinical trials and/or earlier clinical trials. A more extensive set of risks is set forth in The Immune Response Corporation's SEC filings including, but not limited to, its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2005, and its subsequent Quarterly Reports filed on Form 10-Q. The Company undertakes no obligation to update the results of these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances after today or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.
REMUNE® is a registered trademark of The Immune Response Corporation. NeuroVax(TM) is a trademark of The Immune Response Corporation.
INVESTOR CONTACTS: COMPANY CONTACT:
Gene Marbach Michael K. Green, COO and CFO
Makovsky & Company The Immune Response Corporation
(212) 508-9645 (760) 431-7080
Source: The Immune Response Corporation