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Allon Drugs Receive U.S. Patent for Treatment of Neuropathy
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Vancouver, British Columbia -- Allon Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:NPC) announced today that it has been issued a United States patent covering the use of its neuroprotective drugs as potential treatments for peripheral neuropathy, a group of debilitating and painful conditions suffered by millions of people and resulting from nerve damage for which there is currently no effective treatment available. Among the major causes of neuropathy are diabetes and cancer chemotherapy.
Gordon McCauley, President and CEO of Allon, said the Company expects to begin human clinical trials in 2009 to evaluate product candidate AL-309 as a treatment for the nerve damage that causes peripheral neuropathy.
"Drug sales in the U.S. and Europe amount to approximately $4 billion a year to treat neuropathic pain, yet these approved drugs are only moderately effective and have virtually no impact on the nerve damage that causes the pain," said McCauley. "Our preclinical studies have shown that AL-309 not only reduced the pain symptoms associated with neuropathy but also decreased nerve damage."
About peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy can result from a variety of medical conditions, the most significant of which is diabetes; from the side-effects of drug treatments, such as cancer chemotherapy; and from viral infections.
Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to peripheral nerves that detect touch and painful stimuli. Symptoms include tingling, hypersensitivity to light touch or painful stimuli and chronic pain. These sensory problems can also proceed to numbness and loss of sensitivity. Common qualities of the painful neuropathy include burning or coldness, "pins and needles" sensations, numbness and itching.
About Allon's neuroprotective platforms
Allon's two neuroprotective technology platforms are based on two naturally occurring proteins produced by the brain in response to a range of insults. The platforms are activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) and activity-dependent neurotrophic factor (ADNF).
Because the two platforms are based on different proteins, the drugs from each are different molecules with different therapeutic mechanisms and distinct commercial opportunities. Clinical-stage drugs AL-108 and AL-208 are derived from ADNP, while preclinical stage drug AL-309 is derived from ADNF. ADNP drugs AL-108 and AL-208, focused on Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment, are administered intranasally and intravenously respectively. ADNF drug candidate AL-309 is being developed for the treatment of peripheral neuropathies and is administered orally or subcutaneously.
Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing treatments for major neurodegenerative conditions. In Q1 2008, Allon's drug AL-108 demonstrated human efficacy in amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease. Allon has Phase II human efficacy programs pursuing two large underserved markets: Alzheimer's disease and schizophrenia-related cognitive impairment. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC" (Neuro Protection Company) and based in Vancouver. For additional information please visit the Company's website: www.allontherapeutics.com.
Forward Looking Statements
Statements contained herein, other than those which are strictly statements of historical fact may include forward-looking information. Such statements will typically contain words such as "believes", "may", "plans", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipates", "intends", "expects", and similar expressions. While forward-looking statements represent management's outlook based on assumptions that management believes are reasonable, forward-looking statements by their nature are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by them. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainty involved in scientific research and drug development, Allon's early stage of development, lack of product revenues, its additional capital requirements, the risks associated with successful completion of clinical trials and the long lead-times and high costs associated with obtaining regulatory approval to market any product which Allon may eventually develop. Other risk factors include the limited protections afforded by intellectual property rights, rapid technology and product obsolescence in a highly competitive environment and Allon's dependence on collaborative partners and contract research organizations. These factors can be reviewed in Allon's public filings at www. SEDAR.com and should be considered carefully. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements and Allon disclaims any obligation to update or announce changes in any such factors except in its periodic filings.
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