June 17, 2010
VBL Presents Positive Preclinical Data on Immune Modulator in Rheumatoid Arthritis at EULAR Annual Meeting

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

Media Contact:

 

Dan Budwick, Pure Communications

973-271-6085

 

VBL Presents Positive Preclinical Data on Immune Modulator in Rheumatoid Arthritis at EULAR Annual Meeting

 

Data Suggest VB-201 May Ease the Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis

 

TEL AVIV, Israel and ROME, Italy, June 17, 2010 – VBL Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to the development of novel treatments for immune-inflammatory diseases and cancer, today announced preclinical data demonstrating that VB-201 possesses anti-inflammatory properties and effectively reduced the symptoms of arthritis in experimental models.  These results were presented today at the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) Annual European Congress of Rheumatology, by Niva Yacov, M.Sc., project manager at VBL.

 

VB-201 is the first in a new class of drugs and the lead candidate of several proprietary phospholipid analogs from VBL’s proprietary Lecinoxoid family that were designed to be orally available, anti-inflammatory medicines. Oxidized phospholipids are abundantly generated in sites of inflammation, but unlike native oxidized phospholipids, which induce inflammation in rheumatoid arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases, Lecinoxoids exhibit anti-inflammatory properties.

 

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to present these data to the rheumatology community, who are well aware of the devastating nature of rheumatoid arthritis,” said Professor Dror Harats, M.D., chief executive officer of VBL.  “Today’s results are an important part of the VB-201 story and were instrumental in the decision to move forward with our phase 2 clinical trial in patients with psoriasis, which we look forward to sharing.”

 

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the synovial membrane (the soft tissue that lines the non-cartilaginous surfaces within joints with cavities).  A number of activated immune cells can infiltrate the synovium (including CD4+ T-cells, B-cells and antigen-presenting cells such as dendritic cells and macrophages). Ongoing immune cells infiltration eventually leads to cartilage and bone destruction.

 

This study evaluated the efficacy of VB-201 in two validated preclinical models of rheumatoid arthritis (collagen-induced arthritis [CIA] mouse model and adjuvant-induced arthritis [AIA] rat model).  VB-201 reduced infiltrates of inflammatory cells in the joints in both experimental models.  In the mouse model, VB-201 significantly reduced arthritis incidence and severity (as measured by reduced IL-6 plasma levels and significantly less inflammatory cells and destruction in the arthritic joints).  In the rat model, VB-201 prevented the onset of AIA (as measured by significantly reduced arthritis score and paw swelling).    

 

About VB-201

 

VB-201 is the first in a new class of drugs and the lead candidate of several proprietary phospholipid analogs from VBL’s proprietary Lecinoxoid family that were designed to be orally available, anti-inflammatory medicines. VB-201 is believed to act by inhibiting the production of the pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-12/23p40 by dendritic cells and macrophages. VB-201 acts as a counterbalance to the pro-inflammatory immune system activity that occurs in chronic disorders without significantly affecting system-wide immune factors, and is well-positioned to either work as a standalone or a combined therapy.

 

VB-201 has successfully completed four Phase 1 clinical trials involving 120 healthy subjects under a U.S. investigational new drug (IND) application. These Phase 1 trials demonstrated that VB-201 was well tolerated with a favorable safety profile. Preclinical studies indicate that VB-201 has significant potential to treat inflammation in chronic diseases such as psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and also found to bring about regression of atherosclerosis. VB-201 is currently being evaluated in a Phase 2 efficacy and safety study for the treatment of patients with psoriasis.

 

About VBL Therapeutics

 

VBL Therapeutics is an innovative, clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to the development of novel treatments for immune-inflammatory diseases and cancer. VBL has pioneered the Lecinoxoid class of oral anti-inflammatory agents and VB-201 is the lead candidate from this program, which has entered Phase 2 clinical development in patients with psoriasis. In addition, VBL has a proprietary Vascular Targeting System (VTS™) technology platform that has yielded VB-111, the first dual-action, anti-angiogenic and vascular disruptive agent (VDA) for cancer, which is expected to enter Phase 2 clinical trials in 2010. The company was founded in 2000 and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel. VBL has more than 60 granted patents and more than 115 patents pending. For more information on the company, please visit www.vblrx.com.