SCOLR Pharma, Inc. (Amex: DDD) announced today that it is collaborating with BioCryst Pharmaceuticals (Nasdaq: BCRX) to develop an oral formulation of peramivir using SCOLR’s proprietary CDT® drug delivery platform. SCOLR Pharma had previously announced a research collaboration with an undisclosed US based biopharmaceutical company on September 21, 2006.
Peramivir is a novel therapeutic being developed by BioCryst for treatment of seasonal and life threatening influenza with a focus on intravenous and intramuscular delivery. The goal of the collaboration is to develop an oral delivery system for peramivir that improves bioavailability. BioCryst will share all appropriate peramivir preclinical and clinical data with SCOLR to support its development efforts. If successful, the parties expect to enter a license agreement which would provide for the potential commercialization of peramivir.
BioCryst was recently awarded a $102.6 million, four-year contract from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to develop the influenza neuraminidase inhibitor, peramivir, for the treatment of seasonal and life-threatening influenza, including avian flu. BioCryst announced on January 25 that it had initiated a Phase II clinical trial of an intramuscular formulation of the drug peramivir.
Daniel O. Wilds, President and CEO of SCOLR Pharma, Inc. said, “We are very excited about the opportunity to work together with BioCryst in the development of an oral formulation of peramivir which, if successful, could provide patients with an important new option in the treatment of seasonal as well as life-threatening flu.”
Peramivir is part of a new class of antiviral agents that inhibit influenza viral neuraminidase, an enzyme essential for the influenza virus to spread and infect its hosts. The drug was designed to treat and prevent various types of flu, and in laboratory tests has been shown to be a potent and selective inhibitor of influenza A and B neuraminidases. Additionally, in pre-clinical studies, peramivir has shown encouraging activity against H5N1 avian influenza, leading researchers to believe that in the proper formulation, the drug may be effective against that virus, as well as against other life-threatening influenza strains that infect humans.
The influenza virus causes an acute viral disease of the respiratory tract. Unlike the common cold and some other respiratory infections, seasonal flu can cause severe illness, resulting in life-threatening complications. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year in the United States more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications, and about 36,000 people die from flu. Most at risk are young children, the elderly, and people with seriously compromised immune systems.
H5N1 avian influenza is caused by a subtype of the influenza A virus. Circulating among birds worldwide, the virus is considered extremely contagious in birds. It is believed that all species of birds are susceptible to avian influenza, but domestic poultry, including chickens and turkeys, are among the most susceptible to the highly pathogenic strain. According to the World Health Organization, at least 175 people have contracted H5N1 avian influenza, of which at least 96 have died. Almost all of these infections have resulted from contact with infected poultry.
BioCryst Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a leader in the use of crystallography and structure based drug design for the development of novel therapeutics to treat cancer, cardiovascular diseases, autoimmune diseases, and viral infections. The company is advancing multiple internal programs toward potential commercialization including Fodosine™ in oncology, BCX-4208 in transplantation and autoimmune diseases, peramivir in seasonal and life-threatening influenza and BCX-4678 in hepatitis C. BioCryst has a worldwide partnership with Roche for the development and commercialization BCX-4208 and is collaborating with Mundipharma Holdings for the development and commercialization of Fodosine™ in markets across Europe, Asia, Australia and certain neighboring countries. For more information about BioCryst, please visit the company's web site at http://www.biocryst.com.
About SCOLR Pharma
Based in Bellevue, Washington, SCOLR Pharma, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company leveraging formulation expertise and its patented CDT platform to introduce distinctive and novel OTC products, prescription drugs and dietary supplements. SCOLR Pharma’s CDT drug delivery platform provides distinctive products with tangible benefits for the consumer and competitive commercial advantages for licensees. For more information on SCOLR Pharma, please call (425) 373-0171 or visit http://www.scolr.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements (statements which are not historical facts) within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including activities, events or developments that we expect, believe or anticipate will or may occur in the future. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ from those indicated in the forward-looking statements, including our ability to successfully develop new formulations and complete research and development, including pre-clinical and clinical studies, our ability to raise additional funds, the continuation of arrangements with our product development partners and customers, competition, government regulation and approvals, and general economic conditions. For example, if our clinical trials are not successful or take longer to complete than we expect, we may not be able to develop and commercialize our products. And we may not obtain regulatory approval for our products, which would materially impair our ability to generate revenue. Additional assumptions, risks and uncertainties are described in detail in our registration statements, reports and other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Such filings are available on our website or at www.sec.gov. You are cautioned that such statements are not guarantees of future performance and that actual results or developments may differ materially from those set forth in the forward-looking statements. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.
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