Canbex Therapeutics Commences Phase I Clinical Trial of Lead Product VSN16R as a Potential Treatment for Spasticity in Multiple Sclerosis.
Published on 4 November 2013
UCLB spinout company, Canbex Therapeutics Ltd announced today that it has commenced a Phase I clinical trial to assess the safety and tolerability in humans of VSN16R, its novel, orally active lead compound aimed at treating spasticity in people with multiple sclerosis.
The first-in-man study of VSN16R will enrol a total of 72 healthy volunteers in a placebo-controlled, single ascending dose and multiple ascending dose design. The study is being carried out by Quintiles, the world’s leading clinical research organisation.
Spasticity is characterized by sudden and uncontrollable movements of limb and torso musculature, and is among the most painful, damaging and debilitating symptoms of multiple sclerosis. Current drug treatments have a high level of undesirable side effects, particularly sedation and cognitive dysfunction. Many patients cannot tolerate current treatments, and so are treated with palliative measures alone, or with drug regimes that result in poor quality of life.
“We are pleased to have advanced VSN16R to first dose in man, a significant milestone in the development of this novel product candidate,” stated the Chief Executive Officer of Canbex, Dr Jesse Schulman. “After years of highly promising preclinical research, we believe that VSN16R has the potential to become an important advance in the treatment of spasticity, a condition for which there remains a substantial unmet medical need.”
Initiation of the Phase I trial follows successful preclinical studies that have demonstrated the excellent safety, efficacy and tolerability of VSN16R.
Dr Keith Powell, Chairman of Canbex, said: “Our work with leading clinicians has pointed to the pressing need for a new agent that treats spasticity in multiple sclerosis without the debilitating side effects of the current best treatments.”
Canbex closed a £2.1m ($3.2m) funding round in April 2013, led by MS Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany, and won a grant of £1.25 ($1.8m) from the UK government’s Technology Strategy Board in March 2013. Other investors in Canbex include the Wellcome Trust, the US National Multiple Sclerosis Society, University College London (UCL Business Ltd) and Esperante Ventures.
Canbex is a single-asset company that was established for the purpose of developing the VSN compound series. In addition to its pioneering scientific founders and clinical advisors, Canbex has assembled a skilled and focused management team. Development activities are carried out through leading CROs and CMOs. The company’s capital efficiency and lean management strategy ensure that funds are deployed overwhelmingly to compound development and that the company is well structured for exit.
UCLB is a leading technology transfer company that supports and commercialises research and innovations arising from UCL, one of the UK’s top research-led universities.
UCLB has a successful track record and a strong reputation for identifying and protecting promising new technologies and innovations from UCL academics. It invests directly in development projects to maximise the potential of the research and manages the commercialisation process of technologies from the laboratory to market.
UCLB supports UCL’s Grand Challenges of increasing UCL’s positive impact on and contribution to Global Health, Sustainable Cities, Intercultural Interaction and Human Wellbeing.
For further information, please visit www.uclb.com
Meet Canbex at:
BIO-Europe, Vienna, Austria, 4 – 6 November 2013
Biotech Showcase, San Francisco, CA, USA, 13 – 15 January 2014
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