London, UK - 4 June 2014 - Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, "Innovations", “the Group”) is pleased to note that its portfolio company Autifony Therapeutics Limited (“Autifony”), which is pioneering the development of novel pharmaceutical treatments for hearing disorders, has today announced that it has been awarded funding of £2.2 million, in the form of a grant, from the Technology Strategy Board (TSB).
AUT00063 is a first-in-class Kv3 potassium channel modulator in development for a variety of hearing disorders. The Technology Strategy Board funding award will now enable Autifony to initiate a randomized, placebo controlled Phase IIa study in patients with tinnitus in the UK, allowing Autifony to test the drug’s efficacy in this poorly served patient group. This is in addition to a planned Phase IIa clinical trial in age related hearing loss, which is due to start later this year.
These Phase II trials follow the recent successful completion of a Phase I study, conducted in the UK, which investigated the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of orally administered single and multiple dose regimens of AUT00063 in over 60 young and elderly healthy volunteers. In the study AUT00063 appeared safe and well tolerated, and no serious adverse events were recorded.
Maina Bhaman, Director of Healthcare Investments at Innovations, said:
“We are delighted with the progress that Autifony is making with the development of its lead programme for hearing disorders. We are hopeful that AUT00063, which is already under development for the treatment of age related hearing loss, may also be able to bring some relief to these tinnitus patients. The funding from the Technology Strategy Board will play an important role in helping Autifony to progress the compound’s development in this new indication.”
Notes To Editors
About Imperial Innovations
Imperial Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering technologies developed from the academic research of the UK’s four leading Universities. The Group supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas and intellectual property by leading the formation of new companies, providing facilities in the early stages, providing investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate development, providing operational expertise and recruiting high-calibre management teams. It also runs an Incubator in London that is the initial home for many of its technology spin-outs.
Originally formed as the Technology Transfer office for Imperial College - a role it still carries out today, Innovations also invests in opportunities arising from intellectual property developed at, or associated with, Cambridge University, Oxford University and University College London. These are the top four research intensive universities in Europe with a research income of over £1.3 billion per annum.
Innovations invests in the most promising opportunities from whichever technology sector they arise, but has built particular expertise in the key sectors of: therapeutics, medtech, engineering and materials, and ICT.
During the period from the admission of its shares to trading on AIM in 2006 to 31 January 2014, Innovations has invested a total of £160.9 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of over £750.0 million.
About Autifony Therapeutics
Autifony Therapeutics is an independent UK based biotechnology company formed in 2011 as a spin-out from GSK, which retains equity in the company. The company is focused on the development of high value, novel medicines to treat hearing disorders and serious disorders of the central nervous system, such as schizophrenia. Autifony Therapeutics is funded by SV Life Sciences, Imperial Innovations, Pfizer Venture Investments, International Biotechnology Trust PLC and UCL Business
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK government's innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org
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