ANP 3.53% 8.2¢ antisense therapeutics limited

Major milestone in MS....

  1. 280 Posts.
    Achieves Major Milestone in Multiple Sclerosis


    HOMEX - Melbourne

    * Novel compound for Multiple Sclerosis ("MS")
    * Pre-clinical studies successful
    * Now ready to seek approval to conduct human trials
    * Global MS drug sales over US$1 billion in 2000

    Antisense Therapeutics Ltd is pleased to announce the successful
    completion of a package of pre-clinical (animal) studies, including
    toxicology and pharmacokinetics, which enables the Company to apply
    for approval to conduct dosing of human volunteers for its product,
    ATL1102. ATL1102 is being developed for the treatment of the
    debilitating neurological disease, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and also
    has potential application in other inflammatory diseases such as
    asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. MS affects about 2.5 million people
    around the world and global drug sales treating MS totaled over US$1
    billion in 2000.

    These pre-clinical studies commenced in the USA in February 2002 and
    were completed on schedule in October 2002. Data from these studies
    will be submitted to an Institutional Review Board ("IRB") in the UK
    to obtain approval for the conduct of a Phase I safety clinical trial
    in that country.

    The Phase I clinical trial will be conducted in healthy human
    volunteers. This study will investigate the pharmacokinetics and
    safety of ATL1102.

    Trial protocol preparations are presently in progress, and dosing is
    planned to commence in the early part of 2003 once approval to
    conduct the trial has been granted by the IRB. The last stage of
    manufacture, being the process of formulating bulk drug into sterile
    injectable solution for clinical trials, has commenced at an
    accredited manufacturing facility in the US.

    Following successful completion of this trial, it is anticipated that
    an application will be made in 2004, to undertake preliminary
    efficacy trials in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (Phase IIa).


    Multiple Sclerosis (MS) is a life-long chronic disease of the central
    nervous system in which the body damages its own nerve cells. While
    the cause of MS is unknown, it is thought to be an autoimmune disease
    whereby the body produces immune cells against a normal component of
    the body as if it were foreign. As there is no cure for the disease,
    the aims of therapy are to improve recovery from attacks, to prevent
    or lesson the number of relapses and their severity, and to reduce
    disease progression. While there are drugs on the market today for
    MS, there are significance issues associated with the use of these
    drugs highlighting the need for improved therapies.

    The antisense drug ATL1102 targets an immune cell protein called
    VLA-4. VLA-4 protein has been shown to contribute to the onset of
    Multiple Sclerosis. Individuals with MS have excessive amounts of
    this protein, which causes white blood cells to migrate to the
    central nervous system and attack healthy nerve cells. ATL1102 would
    potentially block the body from making unnecessary quantities of the
    VLA-4 protein that is responsible for MS progression.


    Antisense Therapeutics Ltd is an Australian publicly listed (ASX:
    ANP) biopharmaceutical drug discovery and development company. ANP's
    mission is to create, develop and commercialise novel antisense
    pharmaceuticals for large unmet markets. Its two most advanced
    projects target Multiple Sclerosis (ATL1102), and Psoriasis

    The Company's access to these projects is derived from its technology
    and research collaborations with Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc and the
    Murdoch Childrens Research Institute. Californian based Isis is a
    world leader in the field of antisense drug technology. The
    collaboration agreement with Isis provides ANP with an extensive
    package of access to Isis's antisense drug discovery technology to
    commercialise antisense drugs to a number of protein targets
    including those relevant to the treatment of viral, skin, growth and
    inflammatory disorders.

    ANP plans to commercialise its pipeline via licensing/collaboration
    agreements with major biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies.

    ANP's major shareholders include Circadian Technologies Limited (ASX:
    CIR), Isis Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ: ISIS) and the Murdoch
    Childrens Research Institute.

    Further company details are available on the Antisense Therapeutics website.

    Contact Information: Website:

    MANAGING DIRECTOR - Mark Diamond
    +61 3 9827 8999

    INVESTOR RELATIONS - Natalie Korchev
    +61 3 9827 8999
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