MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 21, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapies primarily in the areas of dermatology and ophthalmology today announced that it has selected two compounds for cosmetic product development ("cosmeceuticals") based on its proprietary self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) platform.
RXI-231, an sd-rxRNA compound developed to target Tyrosinase (TYR), has been selected to advance in to cosmetic product development. TYR is a key enzyme in the synthesis of melanin, the pigment that gives human skin, hair and eyes their color. RXI-231 lead to a visible reduction of pigmentation in melanocytes in a 3-dimensional tissue culture model of human epidermis. Results in this model show that RXI-231 is approximately one hundred times more potent than kojic acid, a well-characterized skin lightening agent.
RXI-185, an sd-rxRNA compound developed to target Collagenase (MMP1), has been selected to advance in to cosmetic product development. Collagenases are enzymes that break the peptide bonds in collagen. Matrix metalloproteinase 1 (MMP1) is a collagenase involved in the breakdown of extracellular matrix that specifically cleaves collagen I, II and III. Results from studies show a pronounced reduction in MMP1 mRNA levels that correspond to a similar reduction in MMP1 enzyme activity in cell culture in vitro. RXI-185 is nominated for development as a product that may improve skin appearance.
These two targets were selected because they have great potential as clinically relevant pharmaceutical gene targets as well as cosmeceutical targets. The Company is actively testing other sd-rxRNAs targeting TYR and MMP1 for possible therapeutic development.
The term 'cosmeceuticals' refers to compounds that affect the appearance of the skin. For example, by targeting tyrosinase, a superficial reduction of melanin could potentially change the appearance of the darkened skin spots known as age spots and freckles or lighten the skin overall. Cosmeceuticals can make no preventative nor therapeutic claims and may be developed more rapidly than therapeutics, therefore the path to market may be much shorter and less expensive.
"The selection of these two cosmetic product candidates opens the door for additional business development opportunities with both small and large companies that are focusing on non-therapeutic skin health," said Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals. He further added, "The versatility of MMP1 and TYR, which are relevant for both cosmetic and therapeutic use, are a unique match with our sd-rxRNA platform, allowing us to advance different compounds in both areas of development. This approach further supports our efforts to increase shareholder value."
Dr. Cauwenbergh will present data from the Company's research and clinical programs today at 1:30 p.m. PDT at the Bio Investor Forum in San Francisco, CA. The presentation will be webcast and available on the "Investors" section of the Company's website, www.rxipharma.com.
About RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII) is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapeutics primarily in the areas of dermatology and ophthalmology that address high-unmet medical needs. Our discovery and clinical development programs are based on siRNA technology as well as immunotherapy agents. These compounds include, but are not limited to, our proprietary, self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) compounds for the treatment of dermal and ocular scar formation. It also includes an immunomodulator, Samcyprone™, a proprietary topical formulation of diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP), for the treatment of disorders such as warts, alopecia areata, non-malignant skin tumors and cutaneous metastases of melanoma.
Building on the pioneering work of RXi's Scientific Advisory Board Chairman and Nobel Laureate Dr. Craig Mello, the Company's first RNAi product candidate, RXI-109 (an sd-rxRNA compound) is the Company's first clinical development candidate. RXI-109 silences Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF), which plays a key role in tissue regeneration and repair and is initially being developed to reduce or inhibit scar formation in the skin and in the eye. RXI-109 is currently being evaluated in Phase 2a clinical trials in dermatology and a Phase 1/2 trial is planned to initiate this year in ophthalmology.
RXi's robust pipeline, coupled with an extensive patent portfolio, provides for product and business development opportunities across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas. We are committed to being a partner of choice for academia, small companies, and large multinationals. We welcome ideas and proposals for strategic alliances, including in- and out-licensing opportunities, to advance and further develop strategic areas of interest. Additional information may be found on the Company's website, www.rxipharma.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such statements include, but are not limited to, statements about: our ability to successfully develop RXI-109, Samcyprone™ and our other product candidates (collectively "our product candidates"); the future success of our clinical trials with our product candidates; the timing for the commencement and completion of clinical trials; our ability to enter into strategic partnerships and the future success of these strategic partnerships; and our ability to deploy our sd-rxRNA® technology through partnerships, as well as the prospects of these partnerships to provide positive returns. Forward-looking statements about expectations and development plans of RXi's product candidates and partnerships involve significant risks and uncertainties, including the following: risks that we may not be able to successfully develop and commercialize our product candidates; risks that product development and clinical studies may be delayed, not proceed as planned and/or be subject to significant cost over-runs; risks related to the development and commercialization of products by competitors; risks related to our ability to control the timing and terms of collaborations with third parties; and risks that other companies or organizations may assert patent rights preventing us from developing or commercializing our product candidates. Additional risks are detailed in our most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q under the caption "Risk Factors." Readers are urged to review these risk factors and to not act in reliance on any forward-looking statements, as actual results may differ from those contemplated by our forward-looking statements. RXi does not undertake to update forward-looking statements to reflect a change in its views, events or circumstances that occur after the date of this release.
RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation
SOURCE RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation