BRISBANE, Australia, June 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Australian drug development company CBio Limited (ASX: CBZ) today announced the achievement of a recruitment milestone in its clinical trial of XToll, the potential new-generation drug therapy which could provide safer and more effective treatment of autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
CBio Managing Director Jason Yeates said that the company was very pleased with recruitment levels achieved by the new clinical trial sites in Central and Eastern Europe as well as the continued support of the trial by sites in Australia.
"114 of the targeted 150 patients have now been recruited into the clinical trial. This increased rate of recruitment means that full recruitment remains on track to complete by the end of September 2010 as outlined in the company's IPO Prospectus," Mr Yeates said.
"We continue to work towards completing this trial by the end of March next year," he said.
Mr Yeates said that recent meetings in Europe designed to keep potential commercial partners informed of development progress were very successful and that there was considerable interest by overseas pharmaceutical companies in the possibility of establishing a parallel research program in other autoimmune diseases such as Lupus.
"At this stage our prime concern is to get the product to market for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis," Mr Yeates said.
"Given the scale of suffering caused by rheumatoid arthritis and the commercial market opportunity available to safer and more effective treatments, this remains our priority and we are well advanced on this path," he said.
"Our ongoing discussions with global pharmaceutical companies continue to highlight for us the wide interest in XToll. Success in this trial would not only give new hope to millions of RA sufferers but open the door to commercialisation on a scale which will reward our investors," Mr Yeates said.
"Given that the same research path might lead to alternative treatments for diseases such as Lupus the company is now investigating what resources would be needed to start an additional program in this area," he said.
"There are a number of people who would like to see us move quickly on this path, which is not surprising given that the prospects for the alleviation of suffering as well as commercial return are impressive," Mr Yeates said.
"However, we will not divert energy from the core rheumatoid arthritis program which is now highly advanced," he said.
"Up to 2 per cent of the world's population suffer from rheumatoid arthritis and addressing that market remains the company's primary focus. If the company is to accelerate research into Lupus, then additional funding would need to be sourced. This is something the Board of Directors may want to consider at some point," Mr Yeates said.
CBio's pre-clinical research into therapeutic uses of XToll in diseases other than rheumatoid arthritis has been submitted to a number of global therapeutic conferences being held in late 2010.
SOURCE CBIO Limited