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Advancell and Protherics begin the co-development of a new drug for the treatment of a kind of leukaemia

By 22 January 2007November 18th, 2020No Comments
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Advancell and Protherics begin the co-development of a new drug for the treatment of a kind of leukaemia

, a company focused on biotech research, and , a British enterprise specialized in the development and marketing of innovative pharmaceutical drugs for oncological treatments and of drugs used in critical care, have launched a project to develop the Acadesine molecule for the treatment of beta-cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL), a disease that affects about 300,000 people worldwide. The clinical development of this molecule could imply an investment of more than 50 million euros.

With a duration of more than 5 years, the project undertaken by these two companies seeks to complete the clinical development and successful marketing of Acadesine. In this regard, the first phase of the project will allow researchers to test the potential efficacy of treatment with this drug in human trials before the end of 2007.

From the first stages of the project until the marketing of the new drug, and in function of positive results, the agreement between the two organizations involves an investment of 28 million euros by Protherics in Advancell, in addition to covering half the costs incurred in clinical development. Furthermore, during the marketing phase Advancell will also receive royalties of more than 10% on world sales. Acadesine is targeted at a market with a turnover of around 250 million euros per year.

Luis Ruiz, director general of Advancell, has commented that “the agreement with Protherics gives us the financial capacity and knowledge of clinical and regulatory aspects to complete the development of Acadesine in a much more efficient way than if we were to attempt this alone. Furthermore, the agreement indicates that our academic setting has a very high potential and that university spin-off companies like ours have a great opportunity to transform academic know-how into applications of added value that have a great social impact”.

The oncological specialization of Protherics, its multinational status and its financial and human resources complement the capacity of Advancell. This Catalan company acquired patent rights on Acadesine in 2004 and has developed an injectable form of the drug, for which it has completed the pre-clinical trials required for the approval of the first clinical assay of the molecule, which will reveal its potential efficacy. Data available to date indicate that Acadesine can provide a significant improvement over current treatments.

“The potential of this molecule was discovered and patented in 2002 by researchers at the Universitat de Barcelona. This drug could provide a significant improvement in the treatment of B-CLL as it uses a new safer mechanism of action which will allow the treatment of patients who have developed resistance to current therapies”, explained Ruiz. In 2005, Acadesine was granted “orphan drug” status by the European Union; this status reflects recognition of its potential to cover a therapeutic need which has still not been covered.