Cellmid (ASX: CDY) has been granted a European patent covering the use of midkine inhibitors in the treatment of vascular occlusive disease, the obstruction of blood vessels.
This newest patent offers further intellectual property protection for Cellmid in the area of cardiovascular diseases and in midkine inhibitors.
The claims granted cover the use of short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) to prevent midkine expression in blood vessel walls.
Cellmid already holds 11 granted patents worldwide – including in the U.S., Europe, Japan, China and Australia – for both siRNAs and antibodies to treat angiostenosis.
The European patent bolsters Cellmid’s protection of these rights. Significantly, the patent also grants composition of matter claims for midkine-specific siRNAs.
Animal studies show that midkine expression in damaged blood vessels contributes significantly to vessel narrowing and obstruction, and inhibiting midkine prevents or reduces narrowing.
Vascular occlusive disease is the biggest cause of premature death in Western nations.
Vascular occlusive disease occurs where blood vessels are narrowed or blocked, and can occur at many sites in the body, including the heart (coronary heart disease, CHD), the brain (stroke), the kidney (renovascular disease) and the limbs (peripheral vascular disease such as deep vein thrombosis).
Targeting midkine in vascular disease is a novel potential treatment of both the initial vessel narrowing (stenosis) and the re-occurrence of narrowing (restenosis) that frequently occurs after surgical interventions such as stenting.
Darren Jones, head of product development, commented: “Restenosis is a common and significant problem in CHD patients who have received stents to unblock their coronary arteries.
“Administering a treatment that stopped or slowed restenosis at the same time as stenting would be a valuable improvement to current practice. Cellmid’s European patent covers claims to use MK inhibitors to do this.”
Significant global IP position
Cellmid holds the most significant intellectual property assets related to midkine worldwide.
The company's patent portfolio currently includes 75 patents in 20 patent families, covering the use of midkine and anti-midkine agents for therapeutic purposes in a number of diseases and the use of midkine as a diagnostic marker in cancer and other disorders.
Maria Halasz, chief executive officer, said: “To be granted protection for a further class of MK inhibitors beyond our anti-MK antibodies confirms the breadth of our IP assets.
“RNA interference gives Cellmid another potential option by which to eliminate MK in disease settings. Furthermore, it adds yet another disease area that Cellmid has exclusive rights to treat via MK inhibitors.
“Cellmid’s patent coverage for siRNA and antibodies now extends across cardiovascular disease, inflammatory and autoimmune diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis and surgical adhesion. ”
Advancing pre-clinical studies
Halasz told Proactive Investors today Cellmid has multiple pre-clinical studies in progress with its current midkine inhibitors in various indications, including those relevant to human vascular occlusive disorders.
“Cellmid is doing these studies to collect critical data for the selection of its most promising indication for the first clinical trials with MK inhibitors.”
The company plans to soon seek out appropriate partners, however it must first collect further data during the course of pre-clinical studies, which is an essential step before approaching potential partners.
Halasz said expectations around timing of a market launch will largely depend on the quality of data produced and the ability of the company to secure partnership around the program.
In 2013 Cellmid is working to increase revenue from multiple channels, convert its patent portfolio into products and increase market recognition.
Cellmid is a company with near term cash flow and a diversified pipeline of products.
The company is already generating revenue through its over-the-counter évolis® topical hair growth products, which were launched in Australian pharmacies in late June last year, and continue to surpass expectations.
Cellmid also has two cancer diagnostics in the pipeline, slated for market release in 2013, which will further add to revenues.
The company’s target in commercialising midkine related technology is to develop and add value to the products and then licence or find a partner for the technology.
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