CytoDyn Receives Orphan Drug Designation For PRO 140 For Prevention Of Graft Versus Host Disease
Published: Oct 05, 2017
VANCOUVER, Washington, Oct. 05, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CytoDyn Inc. (OTC.QB:CYDY), a biotechnology company focused on the development of new antibody therapies for combating human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection, announces that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to PRO 140 for the prevention of graft versus host disease (GvHD). Orphan drug designation is granted to development-stage drugs that have shown promise in addressing serious medical needs for patients living with rare conditions. This designation provides CytoDyn with various incentives and benefits including seven years of U.S. market exclusivity for PRO 140 in GvHD, subject to FDA approval for use in this indication.
“GvHD is a life-threatening complication following bone marrow transplantation in patients with leukemia who have compromised immune systems due to treatment with aggressive cancer therapies,” said CytoDyn Chief Science Officer Denis R. Burger, Ph.D. “We chose GvHD as the first non-HIV indication for PRO 140 as it targets and masks the CCR5 receptor on T cells. This receptor on T cells is an important mediator of inflammatory diseases including GvHD, especially in organ damage that is the most frequent cause of death in these patients. Prior clinical trials have shown PRO 140 to be safe and well tolerated, with negligible toxicities or side effects.”
About PRO 140
PRO 140 belongs to a new class of HIV/AIDS therapeutics – viral-entry inhibitors – that are intended to protect healthy cells from viral infection. PRO 140 is a humanized IgG4 monoclonal antibody directed against CCR5, a molecular portal that HIV uses to enter T cells. PRO 140 blocks the predominant HIV (R5) subtype entry into T cells by masking this required co-receptor, CCR5. Importantly, PRO 140 does not appear to interfere with the normal function of CCR5 in mediating immune responses. PRO 140 does not have agonist activity toward CCR5 but does have antagonist activity to CCL5, which is a central mediator in inflammatory diseases. PRO 140 has been the subject of seven clinical trials, each demonstrating efficacy by significantly reducing or controlling HIV viral load in human test subjects. PRO 140 has been designated a “fast track” product by the FDA. The PRO 140 antibody appears to be a powerful antiviral agent leading to potentially fewer side effects and less frequent dosing requirements compared with daily drug therapies currently in use.
CytoDyn is a biotechnology company focused on the clinical development and potential commercialization of humanized monoclonal antibodies for the treatment and prevention of HIV infection. The Company has one of the leading monoclonal antibodies under development for HIV infection, PRO 140, which has completed Phase 2 clinical trials with demonstrated antiviral activity in humans and is currently in Phase 3 development. PRO 140 blocks the HIV co-receptor CCR5 on T cells, which prevents viral entry. Clinical trial results thus far indicate that PRO 140 does not negatively affect the normal immune functions that are mediated by CCR5. Results from seven Phase 1 and Phase 2 human clinical trials have shown that PRO 140 can significantly reduce viral burden in people infected with HIV. A recent Phase 2b clinical trial demonstrated that PRO 140 can prevent viral escape in patients during several months of interruption from conventional drug therapy. CytoDyn intends to continue to develop PRO 140 as a therapeutic anti-viral agent in persons infected with HIV and to pursue non-HIV indications where CCR5 and its ligand CCL5 may be involved. For more information on the Company, please visit http://www.cytodyn.com.
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LHA Investor Relations
Joan E. Kureczka