Immune Pharmaceuticals Completes Merger With EpiCept Corporation
Bertilimumab is a first-in-class monoclonal antibody (mAb) that targets eotaxin-1, a small protein that attracts and activates several sub-classes of immune cells. These cells play a role in the development of certain inflammatory diseases, including ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, severe asthma and bullous pemphigoid. Early studies of eotaxin-1 have validated the target and have shown that it may serve as a mediator of disease severity. These findings are important as they suggest that eotaxin-1 levels may help guide treatment options for patients, a major step toward the personalization of treatment for inflammatory diseases.
Immune also intends to advance its NanomAb® program through the development of its own product candidates as well as through partnerships where it can apply this technology to partners' chemotherapeutic drugs. The Company's NanomAb® technology is an antibody drug conjugate (ADC) platform designed to deliver cancer drugs directly to tumor cells thereby improving efficacy and reducing off-target undesirable effects.
Within the product pipeline previously under EpiCept's control, the National Cancer Institute-run trial of crolibulin is continuing, with Phase II clinical results anticipated in 2014. Crolibulin is an active chemotherapeutic agent, which can be formulated with NanomAbs® to direct tumor targeting. AmiKet™, a prescription topical cream for the treatment of neuropathic pain, has been designated as an out-licensing candidate for Phase III development and commercialization. Although AmiKet™ has demonstrated promising clinical results, the product candidate is not well aligned with Immune's focus on highly targeted antibody therapeutics. The Company is considering taking steps to advance the drug candidate to the start of a Phase III trial while it initiates a formal out-licensing process expected to conclude in the first half of 2014.
About Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc.Immune Pharmaceuticals Inc. (OTCQX: EPCTD, Nasdaq OMX Stockholm Exchange: IMNP) applies a personalized approach to treatment, developing novel, highly targeted antibody therapeutics to improve the lives of patients with inflammatory diseases and cancer. The company's lead product candidate, bertilimumab, is entering Phase II clinical studies for moderate-to-severe ulcerative colitis and bullous pemphigoid, with additional studies planned for severe asthma, Crohn's disease and certain ophthalmological conditions. Immune also is evaluating its NanomAb® technology with approved chemotherapeutics in order to enhance their safety and efficacy profiles by delivering the medicines directly to cancer cells. Through its merger with EpiCept Corporation in 2013, Immune expanded its oncology pipeline with additional clinical-stage product candidates.
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