VANCOUVER, Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ - iCo Therapeutics Inc. (TSXV: ICO) today announced that the company has entered into a research collaboration agreement with JDRF, the worldwide leader for research to cure, treat, and prevent type 1 diabetes (T1D), to support the previously announced Phase 2 investigator sponsored clinical trial investigating iCo-007 in Diabetic Macular Edema (DME).
DME is a major complication of diabetes and a leading cause of blindness in adults. In DME, leakage of fluid from the blood vessels in the eye causes the retina to swell, resulting in blurring and loss of vision.
"We are delighted to be collaborating with JDRF on such an important project," stated Andrew Rae, President & CEO of iCo Therapeutics. "JDRF is dedicated to finding better treatments and cures for diabetes and its complications, including DME, and has played a very important patient advocacy role which cannot be underestimated. We look forward to working with JDRF to explore iCo-007's potential in DME."
"JDRF is committed to supporting research that accelerates the delivery of therapeutics that improves the quality of life for people living with diabetes and its complications," said Aaron Kowalski, Ph.D., Assistant Vice President of Treatment Therapies for JDRF. "As part of this commitment, we have made retinopathy a high priority research emphasis area, and this includes working with partners such as iCo on clinical trials focused on slowing or halting the progression of diabetic eye disease."
Designed and discovered by ISIS Pharmaceuticals Inc., (NASDAQ: ISIS), iCo-007 is a second-generation antisense drug targeting c-Raf kinase for the treatment of DME and diabetic retinopathy. iCo-007 completed an open label, dose escalating Phase I trial with safety as the primary endpoint, and visual acuity and measures of retinal thickness serving as secondary endpoints. Importantly, iCo saw no drug-related serious adverse events, no signs of ocular inflammation, no intraocular pressure issues and no systemic exposure. In August 2011, iCo announced the initiation of a US physician-sponsored Phase II clinical trial involving iCo-007, titled the iDEAL study, which will be conducted across multiple sites throughout the United States. The iDEAL Study will be led by the clinician scientists who are investigators in the trial and will be coordinated at one of the leading medical institutions in the United States.
JDRF is the worldwide leader for research to cure type 1 diabetes (T1D). It sets the global agenda for diabetes research, and is the largest charitable funder and advocate of diabetes science worldwide.
The mission of JDRF is to find a cure for diabetes and its complications through the support of research. T1D is an autoimmune disease that strikes children and adults suddenly, and can be fatal. Until a cure is found, people with T1D have to test their blood sugar and give themselves insulin injections multiple times or use a pump—each day, every day of their lives. And even with that intensive care, insulin is not a cure for diabetes, nor does it prevent its potential complications, which may include kidney failure, blindness, heart disease, stroke, and amputation.
Since its founding in 1970 by parents of children with T1D, JDRF has awarded more than $1.5 billion to diabetes research, including $107 million last year. More than 80 percent of JDRF's expenditures directly support research and research-related education. For more information, please visit www.jdrf.org.
About iCo Therapeutics
iCo Therapeutics Inc. is a Vancouver-based reprofiling company focused on redosing or reformulating drugs with clinical history for new or expanded indications. iCo has exclusive worldwide rights to three products: iCo-007, in Phase 2 for the treatment of Diabetic Macular Edema (DME), iCo-008 (Bertilimumab), a product with Phase 2 clinical history to be developed for sight threatening diseases; and an oral Amphotericin B delivery system for life-threatening infectious diseases. Immune Pharmaceuticals licensed systemic rights to iCo-008 in June 2011. iCo trades on the TSX Venture Exchange under the symbol "ICO". For more information, visit the Company website at: www.icotherapeutics.com.
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Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements included in this press release may be considered forward-looking. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on iCo Therapeutics' current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to iCo Therapeutics and relate to, among other things, anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, market acceptance and future commitments. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by iCo Therapeutics in its public securities filings; actual events may differ materially from current expectations. iCo Therapeutics disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
SOURCE iCo Therapeutics Inc.