REHOVOT, Israel and NEWCASTLE, Australia, February 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Leading drug developer Proteologics Ltd. (TASE:PRTL) and Newcastle Innovation Limited, the technology transfer company of the University of Newcastle, Australia, have entered into an exclusive license agreement to develop and commercialize therapeutics for respiratory and other diseases based on the novel target Midline-1, an E3 ubiquitin ligase.
University of Newcastle researchers* identified Midline-1 (also known as TRIM 18) as a novel target that regulates airway inflammation and promotes allergen and rhinovirus-induced asthma by inhibiting protein phosphatase 2A activity. These findings were published in the January 2013 issue of Nature Medicine.
A significant, potential advantage of a small molecule inhibitor of Midline-1 is that it would be non-steroidal, thus overcoming the increasing resistance to current steroid-based or other anti-inflammatory asthma treatments.CEO of Proteologics Josh Levine commented: "We are excited to enter into this agreement with Newcastle Innovation and, together with the University's world-class scientists, jointly develop therapeutics based on this novel target. Asthma represents a large unmet medical need as there is currently no cure to treat the underlying cause of the disease. Together, we hope to develop a treatment that could help patients suffering from this debilitating, chronic disease." Newcastle Innovation CEO Dr Brent Jenkins said: "The agreement with Proteologics marks a significant milestone in the evolution of laboratory discovery to proof-of-concept and the development of effective therapeutics. We are proud of the achievements to date and are confident new treatments will be available in the near future." About Asthma: Allergic asthma is an inflammatory disease of the conducting airways, affecting an estimated 300 million people worldwide. Currently, there is no cure to treat the underlying cause, but treatments exist to control or reduce symptoms. The disease still remains under-treated due to various limitations in the use of existing drugs, like steroidal overuse, and also factors like under-diagnosis and patient non-compliance. About Proteologics: Proteologics is a leading drug discovery company focusing on small molecule inhibitors of the ubiquitin system. Professors Avram Hershko and Aaron Ciechanover, the 2004 Nobel Laureates for the discovery of the ubiquitin system, are actively involved with the company and lead the company's Scientific Advisory Board. Proteologics has entered into a number of collaborations including with GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and leading labs around the world. Proteologics is a public company, traded on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Investors include GSK and leading Israeli biotech companies and venture funds. About Newcastle Innovation: Newcastle Innovation Ltd is the technology transfer company of the University of Newcastle and facilitates the transfer of knowledge, technology and scientific research from the University to commercial partners. About the University of Newcastle: The University of Newcastle is the most research intensive university outside of an Australian capital city. Ranked in Australia's top eight for research excellence, Newcastle has a strong international reputation for innovation, excellence and research with impact.
- The research and clinical team was led by Professor Joerg Mattes, Chair of Paediatrics and Child Health at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Professor Mattes leads the Experimental and Translational Respiratory group at the Hunter Medical Research Institute's ( HMRI) VIVA program and works as a Respiratory Paediatrician at the John Hunter Children's Hospital. HMRI is a partnership between the University of Newcastle, Hunter New England Local Health Network and the Community.