A-Viral’s phase 2 study on RA is progressing well, and has attracted attention from several of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies, who has asked for meetings to evaluate our technology. Also biotech investors ask for presentations.
The study on Rheumatoid Arthritis at Jan van Breemen’s Intitute (JBI) in Amsterdam is a double blind study with 30 patients who will receive either AV 1101 or placebo daily for 12 weeks, with a last medical check after 16 weeks. The main success criterion is lowering of the Disease Activity Score. By mid June one fourth of the patients were enrolled. Due to scientific requirements, no data will be available before the study is ended, thus the first results from the study will appear in the first part of 2005.
The study has attracted attention from several of the world’s major pharmaceutical companies, who has asked for meetings to evaluate our technology. So far one of the top 10 companies is reviewing A-Viral’s research under a Confidentiality Agreement after a meeting mid June. A-Viral’s management will also present the company to investors specialized in biotech. No further press release will be issued until we have an agreement on cooperation either with a pharmaceutical company or a biotech investor.
For the time being there are few smaller companies that have reached phase 2 with a drug for autoimmune diseases. This places A-Viral in a favourable position, because larger pharmaceutical companies are facing a revenue problem since their patents on existing drugs expire faster than they can replace them with new drugs from their own pipeline of potential drugs. Hence they are interested in making licensing agreements for successful drugs from smaller companies. Buy-out is another strategy some pharmaceutical companies use for meeting this demand.