Oral treatment for rheumatoid arthritis

October 17, 2007

An exclusive licence agreement has been signed to develop a new oral treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a condition that affects approximately 165 million people.

An exclusive licence agreement has been signed to develop a new oral treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a condition that affects approximately 165 million people. The novel compounds, developed by the University of Aberdeen (UK), represent an alternative to current anti-TNF (tumour necrosis factor) therapies for RA. Although anti-TNF drugs have proven to be highly effective in modulating inflammation, they can only be administered by intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection. The treatment proposed by the university can be taken orally and will lack the side-effects associated with steroids. It also contains inhibitors of multiple signalling pathways, which are associated with inflammation, and disease-modifying anti-arthritic drugs that alter the progression of the disease rather than masking the symptoms.

The university has signed an agreement granting an exclusive worldwide licence to Modern Biosciences plc, based in London (UK), for the development of its compounds to treat RA, osteoporosis and other inflammatory conditions. Modern Biosciences will fund and manage the programme, and subsequently out-licence it to the pharmaceutical industry.

Currently, the global market for RA treatments is estimated to be worth €11 billion. The revenues generated through the commercialization of the new oral treatment will be shared by Modern Biosciences and the university.

www.modernbiosciences.com