In 2013 we plan to move forward aggressively with our CONJUMAB and tau immunotherapy programs. These activities are expected to generate data that will increase the enterprise value of each program and attract new partnership opportunities that could result in substantial license revenues. This strategy is based on recent discussions with global pharmaceutical companies, several of which have expressed high levels of interest in these preclinical programs.
An important event to anticipate in 2013 is the initiation of Phase 2 clinical trials with OX1 (VP 20629) in patients with Friedreich's Ataxia ("FA"), which we expect to occur mid-year based on statements Vincent Milano, CEO of ViroPharma, made during his presentation at the JP Morgan Health Care Conference in January. ViroPharma intends to file for Orphan Drug Designation upon review of the Phase 2 proof-of-concept data. February 28 marks the sixth international Rare Disease Day in 24 European countries. We are pleased ViroPharma is collaborating with FARA (Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance) to raise awareness about FA and Rare Disease through the media. Intellect helped forge the alliance between ViroPharma and FARA and we are proud of our role in developing OX1 and highlighting its potential for FA.
CONJUMAB:I am excited about the potential of our CONJUMAB antibody drug conjugate platform and the therapeutic potential of the lead program, CONJUMAB-A, for treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD). CONJUMAB is designed to empower chaperone-like monoclonal antibodies with cytoprotective properties for treatment of various forms of amyloidosis and other types of proteinopathies in which irregular accumulation of abnormally folded proteins causes oxidative stress and inflammation, resulting in irreversible damage and death of cells. This relates to many different diseases, including diseases of the eye (AMD, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy), brain diseases (Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease, motor neuron disease (ALS) and Creutzfeld Jacob disease (CJD)) and peripheral diseases (multiple myeloma, systemic amyloidosis, familial serum amyloid neuropathies and isolated atrial amyloidosis). Numerous proteins, including, amyloid beta (Aβ), tau protein, huntingtin protein, superoxide dismutase, prion and transthryetin, become abnormally folded, making them potential targets for the CONJUMAB approach.