We believe the science behind the TorsinA program could provide benefit to patients suffering from serious neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and dystonia by preventing the progression of their diseases.
Sydney, Australia and Bedminster, NJ (Vocus) November 8, 2010
QRxPharma Limited (ASX: QRX and OTCQX: QRXPY) announced today an award of US$244,479 in grant funding for the Company’s TorsinA program targeting patients suffering from Central Nervous System (CNS) disorders. Similar to the previously announced awards for the MoxDuo® programs, this competitive grant met the criteria under the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project program offered by the U.S. Government’s Department of the Treasury.
“These additional resources will contribute to the early stage development of our TorsinA program run with our partners at the University of Alabama with further support from the Michael J. Fox Foundation, and brings our total grant funding from the U.S. Government to over US$733,000” said Dr. John Holaday, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of QRxPharma. “While still in preclinical development, we believe the science behind the TorsinA program could provide benefit to patients suffering from serious neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s and dystonia by preventing the progression of their diseases.”
QRxPharma’s CNS programs are designed around a gene (DYT-1) and the protein it encodes, called “TorsinA”, that is critical for normal cellular function in the brain. Most neurodegenerative diseases are caused by the toxic accumulation of misfolded proteins in nerve cells. TorsinA is a naturally occurring protein in cells that fixes these aberrant proteins and reverses the damage that they cause. QRxPharma and scientists at the University of Alabama have discovered drugs which enhance the activity of TorsinA for treatment of Early-Onset Torsion Dystonia, Parkinson’s Disease, Huntington’s Disease and other protein misfolding diseases.
TorsinA, present in nerve cells of the CNS, plays an important role in the regulation of normal protein folding and has been shown to be involved in protein processing and clearing of proteins which are folded incorrectly and lead to disease progression. The Caldwell laboratory at University of Alabama (UA) is the world leader in understanding and manipulating TorsinA biology.
QRxPharma/UA have developed a novel therapeutic strategy around enhancement of TorsinA’s function in the brain that have been shown to ameliorate the formation of disease causing misfolded proteins (such as α-synuclein in PD) and increasing the levels of TorsinA protein in patients with the orphan disease, Early-Onset Torsion Dystonia, for which there is no cure. QRxPharma/UA have assembled a proprietary set of technologies to screen for drug candidates to enhance TorsinA’s activity in the brain. TorsinA activator drugs have been identified, and a compelling data set has been generated showing that these drugs can enhance TorsinA activity, leading to neuroprotection from neurotoxic proteins and chemicals in a range of in vivo models.
For more information please contact:
Dr John W Holaday
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +1 301 908 3086
Chris J Campbell
Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary
Tel: +61 2 9492 8021
About the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project
The Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project is a grant or tax credit benefit, targeted to therapeutic discovery projects that show a reasonable potential to: (a) result in new therapies to treat areas of unmet medical need or prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions; (b) reduce the long-term growth of health care costs in the United States, or (c) significantly advance the goal of curing cancer within thirty years. The credit is only available to taxpayers with no more than 250 employees and covers up to fifty percent of a taxpayer's qualified investment.
About QRxPharma Limited
QRxPharma Limited (ASX: QRX and OTCQX: QRXPY) is a clinical-stage specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialisation of new treatments for pain management and central nervous system (CNS) disorders. Based on a development strategy which focuses on enhancing and expanding the clinical utility of currently marketed compounds, the Company’s product portfolio includes both late and early stage clinical drug candidates with the potential for reduced risk, abbreviated development paths, and improved patient outcomes. The Company intends to co-promote its products in the U.S. and seeks strategic partnerships for worldwide markets. QRxPharma’s lead product candidate, MoxDuo IR, is in Phase 3 clinical development and has successfully completed multiple comparative studies evaluating its efficacy and safety against equi-analgesic doses of morphine, oxycodone and Percocet® for the treatment of acute pain. QRxPharma expects to complete its Phase 3 program in Q4 CY2010 and file its New Drug Application (NDA) with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for MoxDuo IR in the first half of CY2011. The Company’s preclinical and clinical pipeline includes other technologies in the fields of pain management, neurodegenerative disease and venomics. For more information, visit http://www.qrxpharma.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This release contains forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts; they include statements about our beliefs and expectations. Any statement in this release that states our intentions, beliefs, expectations or predictions (and the assumptions underlying them) is a forward-looking statement. These statements are based on plans, estimates and projections as they are currently available to the management of QRxPharma. Forward-looking statements therefore speak only as of the date they are made, and we undertake no obligation to update publicly any of them in light of new information or future events. By their very nature, forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. A number of important factors could therefore cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statement. Such factors include risks relating to the stage of products under development; uncertainties relating to clinical trials; dependence on third parties; future capital needs; and risks relating to the commercialisation of the Company’s proposed products.