Spinifex Pharmaceuticals' EMA401 Named One of the Top Ten Neuroscience Projects to Watch

Oct 18, 2013, 04:00 ET from Spinifex Pharmaceuticals

MELBOURNE, Australia, October 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

Company to present at Elsevier Business Intelligence's 2013 Therapeutic Area Partnerships

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals, an Australian pain drug development company, today announces that CEO Tom McCarthy will present at Elsevier Business Intelligence's 2013 Therapeutic Area Partnerships (18-20 November in Boston, USA).

Dr McCarthy's presentation will give an overview of the Company's lead candidate, EMA401, which is a novel angiotensin II type 2 (AT2)receptor antagonist under development as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain without CNS side effects.

EMA401 has been selected as an Elsevier Top Ten Neuroscience Project to Watch, representing one of the most attractive investment opportunities in the industry. The rigorous judging criteria included unmet medical need, market potential, diversity of indications, strong science, multi-level partnering opportunities and potential for new opportunities beyond initial indications and corporate stability.      

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals has reported positive headline results from a Phase 2 clinical trial of EMA401 in post herpetic neuralgia, a painful condition that develops in some patients following herpes zoster (shingles) and where existing therapy does not relieve pain in all individuals.

The clinical trial met its primary endpoint, reduction in mean daily pain score versus placebo over the last week of 28 days of treatment. Results showed a statistically significant and clinically meaningful reduction in mean pain intensity from baseline to week 4 for subjects on active treatment when compared with placebo. EMA401 was generally safe and well tolerated with no serious treatment related adverse events reported. Full results of the Phase 2 trial are expected to be published in a leading clinical research journal.

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals' CEO Tom McCarthy said: "We are honoured that EMA401 has been recognised as one of the Top Ten Neuroscience Projects to Watch by Elsevier and look forward to presenting the development program at the Therapeutic Area Partnerships conference. Despite being a large and growing market, current therapy for chronic pain needs to be improved as a significant proportion of patients don't respond to current therapy and these treatments have dose limiting side effects.

"Our results so far are promising, showing a clear reduction in pain versus placebo and a good safety and tolerability profile. EMA401 offers an entirely novel approach and could eventually represent a valuable new treatment option in an area where there is a clear need for new medicines."


Spinifex Pharmaceuticals

Spinifex Pharmaceuticals is an Australian biotechnology company developing new drug candidates for the treatment and management of pain.

Established in 2005 and based in Melbourne, Spinifex has applied its world-class drug development capabilities to advance product candidates. Its lead product EMA401 is under development as a potential first-in-class oral treatment for chronic pain and related symptoms without CNS side effects. Spinifex's Phase 2 program for EMA401 includes clinical trials in a number of chronic pain conditions. Spinifex investors are GBS Venture Partners, Brandon Capital Partners, Uniseed and UniQuest.



EMA401 is an angiotensin II type 2 (AT2) receptor antagonist. The discovery that AT2 receptor antagonists offer an innovative approach to the treatment of neuropathic and inflammatory pain was originally made by Professor Maree Smith at The University of Queensland. Having acquired the technology, Spinifex has conducted a comprehensive pre-clinical and early clinical development program on EMA401. In addition to positive Phase 2 results, EMA401 has shown efficacy in a number of relevant pre-clinical models and good human safety and pharmacokinetics in Phase 1 studies. Spinifex's clinical program for EMA401 includes an ongoing Phase 2 study in the treatment of pain in patients with cancer chemotherapy. Spinifex continues to conduct research into the role of the AT2 receptor in nociceptive, inflammatory and neuropathic pain states and these fundamental studies support not only the EMA401 clinical program but also Spinifex's ongoing AT2 receptor antagonist drug discovery program.

About Elsevier Business Intelligence

Elsevier Business Intelligence, a global leader in the field of healthcare industry information, provides business intelligence on regulatory, business and reimbursement issues that are vital to the healthcare industry. Through a range of products including publications, conferences, e-learning, databases and reports, Elsevier Business Intelligence places biopharma and medical device professionals, and those who focus on these industries, at the forefront of knowledge, by providing the perfect combination of news and information together with penetrating insight and analysis. Leading publications include PharmAsia News, IN VIVO and "The Pink Sheet." For more information, visit: http://www.ElsevierBi.com.

For more information please contact:

Dr Tom McCarthy                    
CEO Spinifex Pharmaceuticals            
Tel:  +61-(0)3-9938-1205                
Email:     tom.mccarthy@spinifexpharma.com.au        

Chris Gardner/Sita Shah
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel:  +44-(0)20-7638-9571
Email: sita.shah@citigatedr.co.uk

SOURCE Spinifex Pharmaceuticals