Adenovir receives VINNOVA grant for second generation drug against contagious eye infection

2015-06-29

Adenovir develops drugs against the contagious eye disease EKC (epidemic keratoconjunctivitis), one of which is now being tested in Phase 2. EKC is caused by adenoviruses, affects millions of people every year and can cause sight impairment. Currently there is no effective treatment. VINNOVA, the Swedish Government Agency for Innovation Systems, has granted Adenovir SA Development AB SEK 500,000 for the pharmaceutical development of a second generation drug for the treatment of EKC.

The initial development work has shown that the new product meets the criteria for a second generation drug for the treatment of EKC, is more potent, is simple to manufacture and is covered by a new patent application. The product has demonstrated good potential for formulation as eye drops, high efficacy in experimental studies and is safe and well tolerated in animal models. The grant concerns the continued pharmaceutical development in the form of eye drops.

EKC affects millions of people every year all over the world and can lead to sight impairment. Today there is no effective antiviral treatment for EKC. A double-blind randomized Phase 2 study with Adenovir’s drug candidate APD-209 is in progress at eye clinics in Sweden and Germany. It has previously been demonstrated that APD-209 is well tolerated and safe in a clinical Phase 1 study with 48 healthy subjects.

“Our new drug candidate has a different and unique mode of action and is very potent. It furthermore has long-time protection under a new patent. As we are now preparing for an exit it is very positive to be able to offer a promising second generation product as well, which is favorably viewed by future partners,” says Professor Niklas Arnberg at Umeå University, who is one on the innovators.

For more information, please contact:
Björn Dellgren, project manager, Adenovir: bjorn.dellgren@adenovir.com or +46 707- 455 005.

About epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC)
External ocular infections caused by adenoviruses are among the most common eye infections worldwide, affecting millions of people every year. EKC is a serious and contagious eye infection caused by adenoviruses that can lead to sight impairment for a long time after the acute phase. Both the cornea and the conjunctiva are affected and the disease is very painful in the acute phase. EKC occurs all over the world but is most common in densely populated areas in Asia, where the disease is considered to be a major health problem. In Japan alone one million people are affected by eye infections caused by adenoviruses every year. The patients and persons in their closest environment must often be isolated during the acute phase. The patients are generally on sick leave. During epidemics in Asia it happens that schools and workplaces must be closed. The costs for society in the form of lost working days and production are consequently high. Between 20 and 50 percent of those affected suffer sight impairment that can persist for months and in some cases for several years. Sporadic outbreaks occur as epidemics in many regions. Currently there are no drugs against EKC and the persons affected thus get no treatment.

About Adenovir
Adenovir Pharma AB is a project company within P.U.L.S. AB, a life science development company, based in Helsingborg, Sweden. Adenovir has a proprietary technology platform and is developing an antiviral drug for the treatment of a serious eye infection, epidemic keratoconjunctivitis (EKC). The initial development was carried out in close collaboration with professors Göran Wadell and Niklas Arnberg at the virology laboratory at Umeå University and researchers at the Department of Organic Chemistry at Lund University, professors Olov Sterner and Ulf Ellervik, together with PULS and a number of specialized drug development companies. Discoveries on which the development of the drug candidate is based have been published in the prestigious journals Nature Medicine and Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. The importance of this discovery has furthermore been highlighted in the equally high-ranking journal Nature Reviews Drug Discovery. The drug candidate has proved to be well tolerated and safe in preclinical and clinical Phase 1 studies. Read more at www.adenovir.com. The new second generation drug has been developed in collaboration with professors Niklas Arnberg and Mikael Elofsson at Umeå University.

About PULS
P.U.L.S. AB (partners for development investments in life sciences) is a unique life science development company. PULS invests in early projects and actively develops them in close collaboration with the innovators, all the way from idea to projects attractive to the industry. Since 2002 PULS has started nine project companies and exited three, which one is listed, LIDDS. PULS is headquartered in Helsingborg, Sweden. PULS’ current projects are: AcuCort, Adenovir Pharma, Glactone Pharma, Laccure och Oncorena. Read more at www.pulsinvest.se.