SOURCE: Clinquest Group BV

October 09, 2007 02:35 ET

Clinquest Group acquires rights on clinical stage anti-inflammatory peptide from University of Utrecht

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS--(Marketwire - October 9, 2007) -

- Clinquest will accelerate clinical development and commercialization -

Amsterdam, the Netherlands, 04-10-2007

Clinquest Group of Amsterdam, The Netherlands has acquired the patent rights pertaining to the clinical stage F991 peptide from the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands. The F991 peptide shows promise in the treatment of a range of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases including multiple sclerosis and Crohn's disease. Under the terms of the agreement, the University of Utrecht will receive milestone fees and royalty payments but financial details were not disclosed.

The F991 peptide is a potent inhibitor of immune responses that are mediated by antigen specific free Immunoglobulin Light Chains (IgLC). F991 antagonizes binding of IgLC's to mast cell receptors thereby preventing activation and degranulation of these cells. The IgLC mediated immunological pathway has been elucidated by researchers at the University of Utrecht and has been shown to play a role in the onset of chronic inflammatory responses and certain auto-immune reactions. Peptide F991 functions as a pharmacologically active compound regarding the inhibition of the onset of IgLC associated diseases.

Studies in animal models of disease performed by the University of Utrecht have shown that F991 is able to inhibit clinical symptoms associated with asthma or Crohn's Disease and has potential therapeutic activity in models for multiple sclerosis. Furthermore, F991 appeared to be effective via several routes of administration.

A clinical trial in healthy volunteers and two Proof of Concept trials have demonstrated that, even at high doses, F991 is safe and well tolerated in humans and shows promising biologic activity. These initial clinical trials were sponsored by Fornix Biosciences (Lelystad, the Netherlands).

Clinquest will focus on the clinical development of F991 in a number of diseases with an autoimmune component (Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria, Crohn's disease), in which elevated IgLC concentrations and mast cells are implicated. This is in line with its corporate growth strategy, which includes building a portfolio of collaborative projects on innovative therapeutic approaches, through its subsidiary Clinquest Pharmaceutical Innovations.

Cees Wortel, CEO of the Clinquest Group, comments on the agreement: "The F991 peptide provides a novel and additional treatment opportunity for non-IgE mediated inflammatory diseases and for certain autoimmune diseases with a high medical need. The outstanding work performed by the University of Utrecht and Fornix offers an excellent basis for further successful clinical development of F991. Combining our strengths will be of great value in accelerating the next phase of development of F991."

Frank Redegeld, Section Pharmacology and Pathophysiology, University of Utrecht: "The collaboration with Clinquest will accelerate the further clinical development of F991. Their proven expertise in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases assures a successful approach to translating our preclinical research into the application of F991 in the treatment of these diseases".

About Clinquest Group

The Clinquest Group is a trusted Healthcare Product Development Organization (PDO), which offers comprehensive product development services to the bio-pharmaceutical, medical device, diagnostics and medical data industries worldwide. Clinquest provides high-level strategic consulting as well as hands-on implementation services. Clinquest is recognized as a leader in the development of new, breakthrough technologies, first-in-man clinical trials and complex clinical studies. The Clinquest Group operates through three wholly-owned subsidiaries: Clinquest Inc., Clinquest Europe and Clinquest Pharmaceutical Innovations. The company is headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and has offices in the USA and Singapore.

About Clinquest Pharmaceutical Innovations

Clinquest Pharmaceutical Innovations offers innovative risk sharing partnerships to selected clients, thereby maximizing the discovery efforts of its clients through the company's development resources and expertise. Clinquest Pharmaceutical Innovations is based in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

About University of Utrecht

Utrecht University has developed into one of Europe's largest and most prominent institutes of research and education. Utrecht University offers the broadest spectrum of disciplines available in the Netherlands, innovative research and liaises with universities and research centers all over the world.


Media contacts:

For Clinquest:

Rolf Jan Rutten
Director Pharmaceutical & Corporate Development
Tel: +31(0)20 751 2041

For University of Utrecht:
Frank Redegeld, PhD
Associate Professor
Division of Pharmacology and Pathophysiology
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Faculty of Sciences, Utrecht University
Tel: +31(0)30 253 7355

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