SOURCE: Immusol, Inc.

August 09, 2005 08:00 ET

Immusol, Inc. Announces License Agreement for Wet AMD Target With the University of Kentucky

SAN DIEGO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 9, 2005 -- Immusol, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel therapies, announced today that they have entered into a license agreement with the University of Kentucky Research Foundation (UKRF). Under the terms of the agreement, Immusol obtains exclusive, worldwide rights to UKRF's intellectual property that covers the use of antagonists against a unique biological target identified to play an important role in the development of choroidal neovascularization (CNV) or abnormal blood vessel growth in the eye. CNV is part of the underlying pathological process of wet age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a condition in which leakiness from abnormal blood vessels damage the macula. The macula is the region of the retina responsible for high acuity and fine detail vision in the central visual field.

Experiments in a rodent model of CNV have shown beneficial results for local therapy with an antibody specific to the rodent form of this unique target. Efforts are now underway to develop an inhibitor that will block this pathway in humans. Recently, treatment options for patients with wet-AMD have been vastly improved by the recent launch of therapeutics that target VEGF and inhibit angiogenesis.

"We are excited to license this important new target for wet AMD," said Dr. Nicholas F. Paoni, Immusol's Vice President of Therapeutics. "Preliminary experiments in rodents at the University of Kentucky have been quite encouraging and we are poised to next initiate development of antibodies for the human form of this target. Once developed, an inhibitor for this target could potentially be either mono-therapy for this condition, or alternatively it could be adjunctive to the existing anti-VEGF therapies now on the market or in development."

AMD is the most common cause of irreversible vision loss in individuals over the age of 60 years. It is estimated that 20-25 million people worldwide are affected by AMD, with 8 million exhibiting severe vision loss. Macular degeneration affects as many as 12 million Americans. These numbers are expected to increase significantly in 30-40 years as the population continues to age.

Immusol is a privately held San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company engaged in the discovery and development of novel therapies to treat human diseases. Immusol uses an integrated approach, starting with a proprietary discovery technology, to identify therapeutic molecules involved in the areas of cancer, viral infection and ophthalmology. Based on these discoveries, Immusol develops small molecule and protein-based therapies alone or in collaboration with drug development partners. Immusol's lead drug candidate, ChelASE, is being studied in clinical trials for the treatment of keloids and hypertrophic scars. Other drug candidates are in various stages of pre-clinical and clinical development.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Gerard A. Wills
    Chief Financial Officer
    Immusol, Inc.
    (858) 824-1100