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Innate Immuno’s MS trial drug gets global spotlight

For Immediate Release

Innate Immuno’s MS trial drug gets global spotlight

Auckland, NZ, October 12 2012: Research details of a drug that may help people with secondary multiple sclerosis (MS), developed by New Zealand biopharmaceutical company Innate Immunotherapeutics, is being highlighted at the world’s biggest annual gathering of MS specialists and pharmaceutical companies, ECTRIMS, in Lyon, France today.

Innate’s study co-principal investigator, Dr Alison Luckey, talk about the result of 1B/2A trials of its drug MIS416 in the late breaking news section of ECTRIMS. More than 6,000 people attend the conference.

Simon Wilkinson, chief executive of Innate Immunotherapeutics, says results of the Phase 1/2 clinical trial have shown MIS416 to be well tolerated and identified a clinical dose for further evaluation.

“For most international clinicians and researchers into MS this will be the first time they will heard about our drug, that it has been in early stage trials and most importantly that early results are encouraging,” he says. “We are grateful for the support of the United States National MS Society at ECTRIMS, especially for the credibility and validation of our programme the society’s support provides.”

Neurologist Professor Tim Anderson, co-principal investigator for the study, announced in June this year that preliminary data indicate MIS416 is safe and well tolerated. The MS-related clinical status assessment tools used during the study also indicate that the trial agent may have had some positive effect for many of the treated patients.

During the dose confirmation portion of the study, eight of 10 patients with secondary progressive MS treated with MIS416 for 12 weeks showed some improvement in their MS-related signs and symptoms.

Innate Immunotherapeutics plans to enroll MS suffers in 2013 for a 12 month Phase 2B study to investigate the sustainability of the improvements in seen in the first study.

“We plan to conduct most of the next study in Australia, to take advantage of that country’s greater patient availability,” Mr Wilkinson says. “If we can get appropriate local support it would be good to also have trial sites in New Zealand too. Right now we are working hard during the next few months to raise around US$10 million that we need to run that longer phase 2B study. We are certainly hopeful our exposure at ECTRIMS will help us with that.”

In addition to the support of the United States-based National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Innate has had financial support from the New Zealand Ministry of Science and Innovation. It is also collaborating with New Zealand and US universities that specialise in oncology research, to conduct preclinical studies of MIS416 in other applications, including treatment vaccines for a number of different cancers.

Ends

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