AUCKLAND, New Zealand--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Virionyx Corporation Limited, a New Zealand unlisted public biotechnology company, today announced that it has changed its name to Innate Therapeutics Limited. The new name reflects a major repositioning of the company to focus development activities on its proprietary drug candidate MIS416, which has shown promising activity in preclinical proof-of-principle studies in cancer, infectious and autoimmune diseases. The company plans to initiate a Phase 1 human safety study with MIS416 in New Zealand within the 2nd quarter 2009, and, if positive, will pursue phase 2 trials in cancer in 2010. The company also said it had recently raised NZ $3 million from existing New Zealand and U.S. shareholders to support the Phase 1 trial.
“MIS416, our novel microparticle immune response modifier, is designed to work by potently up regulating various disease fighting mechanisms of the innate wing of the human immune system,” said Gill Webster, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Innate Therapeutics. “The innate immune system acts as a master controller for a wide and effective range of immune reactions against infectious diseases and cancer, making MIS416 potentially an important second-generation immune response modifier for a wide range of indications.”
“We are very excited about our research with MIS416 to date,” said Simon Wilkinson, chief executive officer of Innate Therapeutics. “In preclinical studies, MIS416 has demonstrated significant activity against such disease threats as anthrax, plague, and influenza, as well as significant antitumor activity in metastatic breast and lung cancers, as both a standalone agent and in combination with standard radiotherapy. Moreover it has also shown the ability to rescue animals after lethal radiation exposure in biodefence-related studies.”
He noted that in ongoing investigator-sponsored compassionate use trials of MIS416 in a small number of patients with chronic or life-threatening illnesses, including progressive multiple sclerosis and metastatic disease, MIS416 has been well tolerated by patients, demonstrating no toxicities or adverse events. Extensive preclinical toxicity studies of the experimental drug have also shown it to have a high level of safety in animals, with no adverse effects seen at doses up to 650 times in excess of the dose levels likely to be used in man.
About Innate Therapeutics
Innate Therapeutics Limited is a public unlisted biopharmaceutical company based in Auckland, NZ. The company is focused on the development of a new generation of immune response modifier for potential use in the treatment of a range of infectious diseases, certain cancers, and as a novel cellular and humoral adjuvant. For more information on Innate Therapeutics, please visit our Web site at http://www.innatetherapeutics.com.