APEPTICO releases significant scientific results of its industry-academia collaboration network

Vienna, Austria, 31st January, 2013: Apeptico Forschung und Entwicklung GmbH announced that the recent publication of an article in the journal Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, describing the effect of APEPTICO’s lead compound, AP301, in primary dog, pig and rat cells, marked the culmination of another successful year in the Company’s R&D programme.

APEPTICO’s research programme comprises a network of collaborative projects with research groups in academic and clinical university departments both in Austria and abroad. The work published this week in Pulmonary Pharmacology and Therapeutics (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23313096) is the result of cooperation between APEPTICO and research groups at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Vienna and the Clinic for Small Animal Surgery of the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. The study describes the isolation of alveolar cells from dog, pig and rat lungs and their application in electrophysiological experiments. For the first time it was shown that APEPTICO’s lead compound AP301 exerts a current-enhancing effect in freshly-isolated alveolar cells from dog and pig lungs.
Other highlights of APEPTICO’s collaborative research efforts over the last 12 months include: Demonstration of the beneficial effect of AP301 application in a pig model of acute lung injury in a collaborative research project with the Medical Center of the Johannes Gutenberg-University, Mainz, Germany; this work was published in the journal Acta Anaesthesiologica Scandinavica (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23216436); Publication in the Journal of Chromatography (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23122396) of a bioanalytical study of AP301 undertaken in cooperation with ‘pharm-analyt Labor’ located in Baden, Austria; Presentation at the American Thoracic Society conference, held in San Francisco, California, of the results of a collaborative study conducted by research groups in Shanghai, China, showing that AP301 attentuates high altitude pulmonary oedema (HAPE) in rats; Further progress in elucidation of the mechanism of action of AP301 and its activating effect on the epithelial sodium channel (ENaC) was communicated at the annual meeting of the Austrian Peptide Society, where the latest results of APEPTICO’s ongoing research initiative with scientists at the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the University of Vienna were presented; Completion of a collaborative research project with the Department of Thoracic Surgery of Vienna Medical University, aimed to improve lung transplantation including ex vivo lung perfusion of donor lungs; Establishment of a joint research effort with scientists at the Roslin Institute, University of Edinburgh, Scotland, to investigate combination therapy for better treatment of influenza infections.

Dr. Bernhard Fischer, CEO of APEPTICO, commented: “2012 was another productive year in the R&D programme of APEPTICO, illustrating that the Company’s strategy of investigating the mechanism of action of its lead compound AP301 through a network of research efforts, is bearing fruit.” Dr. Fischer continued: “In both the cell-based electrophysiological studies and the pre-clinical models of lung injury, the role of AP301 in improving alveolar fluid clearance and lung function, thereby reducing oedema, has been clearly demonstrated, paving the way for future application of AP301 in other areas such as HAPE and lung transplantation.” AP301 has successfully completed Phase I and is currently undergoing Phase II clinical trials; the clinical trials have been undertaken in collaboration with the Departments of Anaesthesiology and Clinical Pharmacology of the Medical University of Vienna.
APEPTICO is a privately-held biotechnology company based in Austria, developing peptide-based products targeting chronic and life-threatening diseases. The peptide molecules correspond to validated, pharmacodynamic active structures and domains of well-known proteins and biopharmaceuticals. By concentrating on synthetically produced protein structures APEPTICO avoids general risks associated with gene- and cell-technologies. APEPTICO makes use of its technology platforms PEPBASETM and PEPSCREENTM to significantly reduce cost and to shorten time to market.
About the AP301 peptide family
AP301 and derived peptides are synthetic molecules whose structures are based on the lectin-like domain of human Tumour Necrosis Factor alpha. AP301 peptides are water soluble and can be administered into the lung by oral inhalation. Formulated AP301 is easily nebulised and the resulting aerosol is composed of peptide/water droplets of diameter 4 μm or less. AP301 and derived peptides are designed for activation of the pulmonary epithelial sodium channel (ENaC). Activation of ENaC by AP301 results an accelerated lung oedema clearance in the airspace. Comprehensive research and development conducted by APEPTICO has demonstrated that AP301 peptides are effective in animal models of various forms of pulmonary oedema, including high altitude pulmonary oedema, acute lung injury / acute respiratory distress syndrome, pneumonia, influenza virus lung infection, and lung transplantation. Currently, AP301 is subject to a Phase IIa clinical study for the treatment of patients suffering from life-threatening oedematous respiratory failure.

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