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Apitope regains global rights to its multiple sclerosis treatment from Merck

18 October 2016  •  Author: Niamh Louise Marriott, Digital Content Producer

The drug discovery company, Apitope, has regained global rights to its compound, ATX-MS-1467, a potentially disease-modifying therapy for the treatment of multiple sclerosis (MS). Under the agreement with Merck, Apitope will regain all rights and clinical data associated with its compound ATX-MS-1467, which just completed a Phase II clinical trial.

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ATX-MS-1467 has successfully completed a Phase I clinical trial in six patients with secondary progressive MS (SPMS) and a second Phase I trial in 43 relapsing MS patients, assessing safety as well as biological parameters. Examination of the MRI results (new gadolinium- and total gadolinium-enhancing [Gd+] lesions) demonstrated a decrease of 78% in the number of Gd+ brain lesions in patients with relapsing MS treated with intradermal injection.

In 2009, Apitope granted exclusive worldwide rights to Merck to develop and commercialise ATX-MS-1467. Enrolment in a Phase IIa clinical trial of ATX-MS-1467 in Relapsing Multiple Sclerosis was completed in mid-2015, and the outcome of the study is expected at the end of this year.

Dr Keith Martin, CEO of Apitope, commented, “We believe ATX-MS-1467 has enormous potential for treating MS patients. We are pleased to be regaining the rights to the compound, as well as the clinical data. This will provide us with greater flexibility and control in the clinical development of ATX-MS-1467. We are now able to pursue new business collaborations to enable the further development of this promising treatment.”

The terms of the agreement are not disclosed.

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