Wize Pharma's Strategic Transaction Partner Bonus Biogroup Initiates Preclinical Study for Treatment of Respiratory Distress in COVID-19 Patients
HOD HASHARON, Israel, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Wize Pharma, Inc. (OTCQB: WIZP), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the treatment of ophthalmic disorders, today announced that Bonus BioGroup (TASE: BONS.TA), a company in which Wize owns 8.9% of its equity securities, has initiated a preclinical study of its drug product candidate MesenCure, specifically developed to potentially treat acute and life-threatening respiratory distress and pneumonia whether as a result of infection with coronavirus (COVID-19), or any other type of virus, bacterial infection, or exposure to other contaminants.
MesenCure consists of activated mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) that are isolated from the adipose tissue of healthy donors. Following intravenous transfusion, the activated cells are expected to reach the lungs and act to reduce inflammation, and alleviate respiratory and other symptoms. Bonus BioGroup has more than a decade of MSC-related experience, patented technologies, and in-house MSC manufacturing capacity based on the development of its lead clinical stage BonoFill™, a tissue-engineered bone graft product.
Bonus BioGroup has reported that preliminary efficacy data from the MesenCure study are expected in May 2020, with study completion anticipated in the third quarter of 2020.
MesenCure may be useful for treating a variety of indications, such as lower respiratory tract infections, acute respiratory distress syndrome, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. According to the Forum of International Respiratory Societies, more than 1 billion people are suffering from inflammatory diseases of the lower respiratory tract worldwide, which cause an estimated 7.5 million deaths each year, and are the third leading cause of death in Europe, not including COVID-19 mortality data.
"Bonus BioGroup's MesenCure, specifically developed to potentially treat the respiratory complications of COVID-19. Moreover, MesenCure addresses the broader need for an effective treatment for millions of patients each year suffering from inflammatory diseases of the lower respiratory tract,," stated Noam Danenberg, CEO of Wize.
About Bonus BioGroup
Bonus BioGroup is an Israeli biotechnology company whose highly innovative, proprietary therapeutic platform for healing severe bone defects is strongly positioned to break into the $8 billion global bone rehabilitation market. The company's BonoFill™ solution which employs novel tissue engineering technology for growing live human bone grafts has been selected by the Israeli Ministry of Science as a technology that will change the world forever, and it is already achieving outstanding success rates in Phase I/II clinical trials. The BonoFill™ solution is a revolutionary approach for personalized treatment of bone defects using live bone grafts created from the patient's own cells. Patients undergo a simple liposuction procedure to harvest fat tissue, which is then engineered into bone using Bonus BioGroup's proprietary technology. Upon injection into the bone defect, the bone graft grows, connects and matures to become healthy new autologous bone, while reducing the risk of rejection.
About Wize Pharma
Wize Pharma, Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company currently focused on the treatment of ophthalmic disorders, including DES. Wize has in-licensed certain rights to purchase, market, sell and distribute a formula known as LO2A, a drug developed for the treatment of DES, and other ophthalmological illnesses, including CCh and Sjögren's syndrome (Sjögren's).
LO2A is currently registered and marketed by its inventor in Germany and Switzerland for the treatment of DES, in Hungary for the treatment of DES, CCH and Sjögren's and in the Netherlands for the treatment of DES and Sjögren's. Wize's strategy involves engaging local or multinational distributors to handle the distribution of LO2A. Wize has finished a Phase II trial of LO2A for patients with CCH, demonstrating a statistically significance result using a mixed model with repeated measures (MMRM). A Phase IV study for LO2A for DES in patients with Sjögren's completed patient enrollment in Q1 2020 and top line data are expected in Q2 2020.
Forward Looking Statements
Wize cautions you that statements in this press release and letter to shareholders that are not a description of historical fact are forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of words referencing future events or circumstances such as "expect," "intend," "plan," "anticipate," "believe," and "will," among others. For example, when we discuss the initiation of the preclinical study of Bonus BioGroup's drug product candidate MesenCure for the potential treatment of acute and life-threatening respiratory distress and pneumonia, whether as a result of COVID-19 or any other virus, bacterial infection, or exposure to other contaminants, the expected timing of the preliminary efficacy data from the study as well as the completion date of the study and that MesenCure may be useful for treating a variety of indications, such as lower respiratory tract infections, acute respiratory distress syndrome, asthma, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, we are using a forward-looking statement. Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based upon Wize's current expectations and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect. Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties, which include, without limitation, the possibility that we will not consummate the transactions with Bonus and the investors or, if we do consummate such transactions, that we will not receive the benefits we planned to achieve from such transactions; the possibility that we will not be able to successfully operate our joint venture with Cannabics Pharmaceuticals, Inc.; our needs for additional financing; our dependence on a single compound, LO2A and on the continuation of our license to commercialize LO2A; our inability to expand our rights under our license of LO2A; the initiation, timing, progress and results of our trials and product candidate development efforts; our ability to advance LO2A into clinical trials or to successfully complete our preclinical studies or clinical trials; our receipt of regulatory approvals for LO2A, and the timing of other regulatory filings and approvals; the clinical development, commercialization and market acceptance of LO2A; our ability to establish and maintain corporate collaborations; the implementation of our business model and strategic plans for our business and product candidates; the scope of protection we are able to establish and maintain for intellectual property rights covering LO2A and our ability to operate our business without infringing the intellectual property rights of others; estimates of our expenses, future revenues, and capital requirements; competitive companies, technologies and our industry; and statements as to the impact of the political and security situation in Israel on our business. More detailed information about the risks and uncertainties affecting Wize is contained under the heading "Risk Factors" included in Wize's Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 1, 2019, and in other filings that Wize has made and may make with the SEC in the future. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date on which they were made. Wize does not undertake any obligation to update such statements to reflect events that occur or circumstances that exist after the date on which they were made, except as may be required by law.
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Company Codes: OTC-PINK:WIZP, OTC-QB:WIZP, OtherOTC:WIZP