Circassia Acquires Worldwide Rights to Novel Psoriasis and Atopic Dermatitis Treatment From Airmid Inc

February 9, 2011

OXFORD, England, February 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Circassia Ltd, a
specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, today announced that
it has acquired the worldwide development and commercialization rights to the
novel topical therapeutic for psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, PAP-1.
Circassia acquired the rights to the proprietary molecule from Airmid Inc,
for an undisclosed upfront sum plus milestone payments and royalties on
future product sales.

PAP-1 is one of the most potent and selective Kv1.3 inhibitors known, and
has ideal topical delivery characteristics. The molecule is a highly specific
immunosuppressant, acting on effector memory T-cells while leaving naive and
central memory T-cells intact, and has demonstrated impressive activity in
psoriasis and atopic dermatitis models when applied topically.

“PAP-1 is an ideal strategic fit with Circassia’s focus on immuno-based
therapeutics, and we intend to advance this novel treatment into the clinic
as quickly as possible,” said Dr Rod Hafner, Circassia’s Vice President, R&D.
“PAP-1′s extremely selective immunosuppression combined with its excellent
topical delivery characteristics make it the ideal candidate for a psoriasis
and atopic dermatitis treatment. By specifically targeting effector memory
T-cells and leaving other components of the immune system intact, PAP-1 has
the potential to offer the efficacy of topical steroids while avoiding their

“Out-licensing topical PAP-1 is a major milestone for Airmid, and we are
delighted to have attracted a team of Circassia’s high caliber to progress
the development of this important therapeutic,” said Dr George Miljanich, CEO
of Airmid. “We look forward to Circassia’s success, which will further
validate this class of novel molecules as a highly promising source of safe
and effective medicines.”

About Circassia’s allergy T-cell vaccines

Circassia is developing a range of allergy T-cell vaccines based on its
proprietary ToleroMune(R) technology. The company has successfully completed
a number of phase II studies with its cat, house dust mite and ragweed
allergy products, and its grass allergy therapeutic is in clinical testing.
Clinical results to date show that short treatment regimes with Circassia’s
T-cell vaccines can greatly reduce patients’ allergic reactions, without the
need for adjuvants or other immune stimulators, while proving extremely well
tolerated. As a result, the treatments offer major potential clinical
benefits compared with existing therapies, and have significant market
opportunities. Over 150 million people suffer from allergic rhinitis in the
US and Europe, and the current treatment market is approximately $12 billion
per year.

About Circassia

Circassia was founded in 2006 by a team of highly experienced
biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs, and is chaired by the former
Chairman of GlaxoSmithKline, Sir Richard Sykes. The company is based in the
UK on the Oxford Science Park, and in Hamilton, Canada, where its joint
venture Adiga Life Sciences is located. Its ToleroMune technology was
developed originally by scientists at Imperial College, London. Having
successfully completed three fundraising rounds Circassia is backed by a
syndicate of world-class venture capital and institutional investors,
including Imperial Innovations, Invesco Perpetual, Goldman Sachs and
Lansdowne Partners.

About Airmid

Airmid is a privately held pharmaceutical company based in Redwood City,
. The company is focused on developing its proprietary novel
potassium ion channel blockers as safer and more effective medicines for a
variety of autoimmune diseases that are inadequately treated by current
therapies. These include multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, diabetes and
rheumatoid arthritis. The company’s lead investor is the Biotechnology Value
Fund. For more information on Airmid please visit http://www.airmid.com.


    Steve Harris
    Tel: +44(0)1865-784574


    Rob Budge
    RJB Communications
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SOURCE Circassia Ltd

Source: newswire

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