SOURCE: Io Therapeutics, Inc.

Io Therapeutics, Inc.

August 03, 2015 08:00 ET

Io Therapeutics, Inc. Announces Sponsored Research Agreement With the National Multiple Sclerosis Society Fast Forward Program

SANTA ANA, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 3, 2015) - Io Therapeutics, Inc. announced today the receipt of funding from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society through Fast Forward to support further evaluation of the company's experimental rexinoid nuclear receptor (RXR) agonist compound IRX4204 as a potential treatment to stimulate repair of myelin, which is damaged in multiple sclerosis (MS).

About RXR in MS and the Effects of IRX4204

In MS, autoimmune processes damage the myelin sheath surrounding nerve fibers, resulting in dysfunction of signal transmission in the brain and spinal cord. Myelin damage contributes to physical disability in MS patients. Many currently available treatments for MS target the autoimmune processes, but to date, none have been conclusively demonstrated to promote repair of damaged myelin in MS patients.

IRX4204 previously has been demonstrated to have beneficial effects on autoimmunity in animal models of MS. The MS Fast Forward sponsored research will fund additional preclinical studies of IRX4204, specifically focused on examining whether IRX4204 also promotes myelin repair in animal models of MS.

"Supporting development of therapies that can restore function to people living with MS is an important area of focus for the Society," said Mark Allegretta, Ph.D., Associate Vice President, Commercial Research for the National MS Society. He continued, "We began discussions with Io Therapeutics when we became aware of the potential for IRX4204 to promote myelin repair. The preclinical studies we are funding are designed to validate this activity. In addition, the fact that the compound has been used in humans for other indications may accelerate IRX4204's entry into clinical trials designed to demonstrate an effect on myelin repair in MS."

Dr. Martin E. Sanders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Io Therapeutics said, "Io Therapeutics is grateful to the National MS Society Fast Forward Program for its support of the company's preclinical evaluation of IRX4204 as a new treatment for MS, possibly having dual immunomodulatory and myelin reparative mechanisms of action. We are hopeful that the preclinical studies funded by Fast Forward will demonstrate a beneficial effect of IRX4204 on myelin repair in animal models of MS."

About Io Therapeutics

Io Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held company headquartered in Santa Ana, California, focused on the development of novel treatments for cancers, neurodegenerative diseases, and autoimmune diseases.

About the National Multiple Sclerosis Society

The Society mobilizes people and resources to drive research for a cure and to address the challenges of everyone affected by MS. To fulfill this mission, the Society funds cutting-edge research, drives change through advocacy, facilitates professional education, collaborates with MS organizations around the world, and provides programs and services designed to help people with MS and their families move their lives forward. In 2014 alone, through our comprehensive nationwide network of programs and services, the Society devoted $122.2 million to assist more than one million individuals to connect to the people, information and resources they needed. To move us closer to a world free of MS, the Society also invested $50.2 million to support more than 380 new and ongoing research projects around the world. The Society is dedicated to achieving a world free of MS. Learn more at: www.nationalMSsociety.org.

About Fast Forward

Fast Forward, LLC is a nonprofit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society in order to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. Fast Forward connects university-based MS research with private-sector drug development and funds small biotechnology/pharmaceutical companies to develop innovative MS therapies and repurpose FDA-approved drugs as new treatments for MS.

Forward Looking Statements

This new release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the safe harbor provisions of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

For more information on Io Therapeutics see: www.io-therapeutics.com

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