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NEWS CRUNCH
AdAlta pioneers novel drug for rare lung disease
Compelling new lung disease treatment pioneered in Victoria gains global attention alongside top researchers and drug developers.

A novel drug treatment emerging from Victoria for the serious lung condition idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis will be spotlighted among world-leading researchers and scientists at the global IPF Summit in Boston from 21 to 23 August 2017.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fibrotic lung condition that causes persistent and progressive scarring of the tiny air sacs (alveoli) in the lungs, with symptoms including shortness of breath and coughing1. Lung Foundation Australia estimate that there are around 2,300 new cases diagnosed in in Australia every year2. The prognosis of IPF is very poor, with a median survival of only three to five years after diagnosis.3

The new drug, AD-114, is being developed by the Australian biotech AdAlta (ASX:1AD), using AdAlta's proprietary 'i-body' technology. A phase 1 clinical trial will start next year.

AD-114 differs from existing treatment options and others currently in clinical development due to its unique mode of action that targets the GPCR chemokine receptor CXCR4. AD-114 has been demonstrated to have both anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic activity, hitting a sweet spot for a potential therapy for IPF.

The effects of AD-114 have been described by world-leading lung disease researcher Professor Cory Hogaboam (Cedars Sinai Medical Centre) as "impressive" and "providing a compelling case" for treating IPF.

AdAlta CEO, Sam Cobb, has been invited to speak at the inaugural summit to showcase the novel therapeutic approach to this largely under-treated area. Ms Cobb will represent the only Australian company in the line-up of academics, international biotech and pharma speakers that include Prof Hogaboam as well as speakers from Genentech, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Celgene and Medimmune.

"IPF is a disease with high unmet clinical need and we do believe AD-114 will provide the clinical community and patients with a much-needed new treatment option," Ms Cobb said.

"Although our focus with AD-114 is IPF, AD-114 has the potential to treat a wide-range of fibrotic conditions including wet age-related macular degeneration, of which there are 21,000 new cases diagnosed in Australia each year4 and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which affects around 5.5 million Australians and is a precursor to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)5.

"That we've been invited to speak alongside world experts at the inaugural IPF Summit is immensely validating of the critical nature of our work."

AD-114 has received orphan drug status by the FDA, and if approved would be a first-in-class treatment. 'Orphan' drugs are those developed to treat a rare medical condition, and they are usually granted accelerated development and regulatory timelines.

References:

  1. Lung Foundation Australia [online] at https://lungfoundation.com.au/health-professionals/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis-registry/ [accessed 3 August 2017]
  2. Lung Foundation Australia [online] at https://lungfoundation.com.au/patient-support/rarelung/idiopathic-pulmonary-fibrosis-ipf/ [accessed 3 August 2017]
  3. ATS, 2000; Raghu et al., 2011
  4. Macular Degeneration Foundation [online] at https://www.mdfoundation.com.au/sites/default/files/MDBooklet_2017-04_WEB.pdf [accessed 7 August 2017]
  5. The Economic Cost and Health Burden of Liver Disease in Australia (Jan 2013), Gastroenterological Society of Australia)
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APBN Editorial Calendar 2019
January:
Taiwan Medical tourism
February:
Marijuana as medicine — Legal marijuana will open up scientific research
March:
Driven by curiosity
April:
Career developments for researchers
May:
What's cracking — Antibodies in ostrich eggs
June:
Clinical trials — What's in a name?
July:
Traditional Chinese medicine in modern healthcare — Integrating both worlds
Editorial calendar is subjected to changes.
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