Cambridge Antibody Tech. licenses monoclonal antibody for treatment of allergy disorders to iCo

Cambridge, UK and Vancouver, BC, Canada…Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) and iCo Therapeutics Inc. announce today that CAT has granted iCo an exclusive worldwide licence for the development and commercialisation of CAT-213, a human monoclonal antibody previously developed by CAT as a potential treatment for allergy disorders including asthma, allergic rhinitis and allergic conjunctivitis. iCo Therapeutics plans to advance the compound initially for the treatment of ocular allergies including allergic conjunctivitis.

Under the terms of the agreement, iCo Therapeutics will pay CAT an upfront fee, milestone payments for key clinical and regulatory achievements, and royalties on potential future sales. iCo Therapeutics will have sole responsibility for all future clinical development and the commercialisation of CAT-213. CAT-213 is a human anti-eotaxin-1 monoclonal antibody, discovered and developed by CAT as a treatment for severe allergic disorders. Phase I/II studies have been completed and CAT-213 was found to be safe and well-tolerated.
Richard Mason, CAT’s SVP Business and Commercial Operations, commented, “Following an internal review of our development priorities, CAT decided to out-license CAT-213. iCo’s focus in ocular diseases, combined with their expertise in allergy and inflammation, make them an ideal partner to take this programme forward.”

Andrew Rae, President and CEO of iCo Therapeutics, commented, “CAT-213 represents a novel approach to the treatment of allergic conditions and one that may provide significant advantages over anti-histamine and steroidal approaches that are known for their adverse events, particularly when used chronically. This agreement illustrates the effectiveness of our innovative low-risk business model to license compounds already in clinical development and develop them to treat diseases of the eye”.

Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT):

  • Cambridge Antibody Technology (CAT) is a biopharmaceutical company using its capabilities and technologies in the discovery and development of new and innovative antibody medicines in selected therapeutic areas to bring improvements to seriously ill patients’ lives.
  • CAT is a leader in the discovery and development of human therapeutic antibodies and has an advanced proprietary platform technology for rapidly isolating human monoclonal antibodies using phage display and ribosome display systems. CAT has extensive phage antibody libraries, currently incorporating more than 100 billion distinct antibodies. These libraries form the basis for the Company’s strategy to develop a portfolio of antibody-based drugs.
  • CAT is part of the AstraZeneca group of companies.
  • CAT employs around 300 people and is based near Cambridge, UK and in Palo Alto, USA.

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  • Eotaxin-1 is a protein that attracts eosinophils (type of white blood cell) into tissues where they accumulate and cause tissue damage and inflammation. This accumulation, known as eosinophilia, is thought to play a central role in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases and therefore suppression of this accumulation by CAT-213 may provide a beneficial therapeutic approach.

Allergic Conjunctivitis

  • Diseases of the eye related to allergies affect approximately 20% of the population worldwide. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, approximately 40 million people in the US experience ocular allergies and this estimate is expected to increase due to environmental factors.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis is the most prevalent of all forms of conjunctivitis and can be either seasonal or perennial in nature. Symptoms include itching, burning, tearing and occasionally the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. The majority of allergic conjunctivitis cases are treated with topical eye drops.
  • The global market for ocular allergy treatments is expected to exceed US$1 billion by 2007, with approximately 50% of worldwide sales coming from the US (Source: iCo Therapeutics).

About iCo Therapeutics Inc.

iCo Therapeutics Inc. is a Vancouver-based development based company focused on in-licensing drugs with clinical history redosing or reformulating for new or expanded indications. iCo has exclusive worldwide rights to three products. iCo-007, a second generation antisense candidate licensed from Isis Pharmaceuticals, is currently in a Phase I trial in Diabetic Macular Edema patients with compelling early data. iCo-008 is a human monoclonal antibody targeting eotaxin-1 with Phase II clinical history, licensed from AstraZeneca/MedImmune. iCo-009 is a proprietary oral formulation of amphotericin B licensed from the University of British Columbia. To date, iCo has reported positive preclinical results for iCo-009. iCo Therapeutics trades on the TSX-Venture exchange under the symbol “ICO”. For more information, visit the company website at:

No regulatory authority has approved or disapproved the content of this release. The TSX Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

Forward Looking Statements

Certain statements included in this press release may be considered forward-looking. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on iCo Therapeutics’ current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to iCo Therapeutics and relate to, among other things, anticipated financial performance, business prospects, strategies, regulatory developments, market acceptance and future commitments. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by iCo Therapeutics in its public securities filings; actual events may differ materially from current expectations. iCo Therapeutics disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.