Ziarco Secures £1.7M Grant from UK’s Technology Strategy Board to Support Phase 2a of ZPL-389 in Atopic Dermatitis

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Canterbury, UK, June 18, 2014 / B3C newswire / – Ziarco Pharma Ltd, a biopharmaceutical company focusing on steroid-unresponsive inflammation and allergic diseases, is pleased to announce this prestigious award of grant funding from the TSB.

The award will be used by Ziarco to further develop ZPL-389, a novel, oral antagonist of the recently-discovered histamine H4 receptor which is in clinical development to treat a number of dermatological, and potentially other inflammatory diseases. Specifically, the funding will be used to support a Phase 2a clinical study to further evaluate the safety and efficacy of ZPL-389 in patients with Atopic Dermatitis.

Atopic Dermatitis (AD) is a poorly treated inflammatory dermatological disorder. It affects all ages, from young infants through to the elderly. The condition including the itching (chronic pruritus) can result in disturbed or otherwise poor sleep, mood changes and a general increase in other illnesses for sufferers.  Although some older treatments exist, there is a significant need for new therapies, especially oral treatments that are safe for long term use and address all features of the disease, including itch. ZPL-389 has already been studied in over 60 subjects in two different countries.

Ziarco believes that ZPL-389 is one of only two clinical-stage oral H4 antagonists in active development. Previously, ZPL-389 has completed a 14 day multi-dose study as well as earlier Phase I studies incorporating a dose-setting biomarker. With the recent completion of additional subchronic non-clinical toxicology work, ZPL-389 is ready for patient studies which are the subject of the TSB grant.

Dr Mike Yeadon, CEO of Ziarco, said: “We are pleased to have won this valuable award and we are grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for their diligence. We believe that H4 antagonism will prove a valuable new contribution to treatment of many diseases and that ZPL-389 will make a real difference to patients suffering from itch and skin inflammation. The Biomedical Catalyst funding is a big help in enabling us to conduct the upcoming AD study, and thus to take an additional step in bringing ZPL389 to patients. If successful, ZPL-389 may have the chance to treat millions of patients worldwide, from the young through to the elderly”.

About Ziarco
Ziarco is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing innovative therapeutics targeting inflammatory and allergic diseases. The company’s product pipeline includes a histamine H4 receptor antagonist programme with potential in multiple therapeutic areas, including a number of inflammatory skin diseases as well as rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, asthma and pain. A lead H4 antagonist has completed a Phase 1 multiple ascending dose study.  A second clinical-stage programme targets inflammatory disorders by inhibiting cytosolic phospholipase A2 (cPLA2). The pipeline is completed by a histamine H3 receptor antagonist programme possessing CNS-sparing properties which is in advanced preclinical development and an early-stage spleen tyrosine kinase (SYK) inhibitor programme suitable for topical administration. Investors in Ziarco include Biotechnology Value Fund L.P. and other affiliates of BVF Partners L.P. and Pfizer Venture Investments.

About Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’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.

About Catalysts
Catalysts are run jointly by the Technology Strategy Board and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding which focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. The Catalyst model supports projects in priority areas where the UK research base has a leading position and where there is clear commercial potential. Current Catalysts include: Biomedical Catalyst, Agri-tech Catalyst and the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst.

Mike Yeadon
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