The broad applicability of our antisense technology allows us to create promising drugs in a variety of disease areas. We have successfully developed novel drugs designed to treat many different diseases. In therapeutic areas that are outside of our core areas of development, we license our drugs to highly focused satellite companies that have the specific expertise and resources to continue developing the drugs. Together with our partners we continue to advance drugs in clinical development that are outside of our core therapeutic areas. For instance, our partner, Excaliard, presented data from three Phase 2 studies demonstrating that EXC 001 reduced scarring in patients.
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ATL1102 is an antisense drug that ATL is developing for the treatment of multiple sclerosis, or MS. ATL1102 inhibits CD49d, a subunit of Very Late Antigen-4, or VLA-4. Studies in animal models have demonstrated that inhibiting VLA-4 positively affects a number of inflammatory diseases, including MS. We licensed ATL1102 to ATL in December 2001 and in February 2008, ATL licensed ATL1102 to Teva. In 2008, ATL and Teva reported Phase 2a results of ATL1102 showing significantly reduced disease activity in patients with relapsing remitting MS. In 2010, Teva terminated its agreement with ATL and returned ATL1102 back to ATL. ATL is seeking a partner to continue developing ATL1102 in patients with MS.
EXC 001 is an antisense drug that targets connective tissue growth factor, or CTGF, a growth factor that is over-expressed in damaged skin or tissue following a traumatic event. We co-discovered EXC 001 and licensed it to Excaliard for the local treatment of fibrotic diseases, including scarring. Fibrosis represents a significant and expanding area of unmet medical need where antisense drugs could offer a unique advantage as anti-fibrotic agents. In November 2011, Pfizer Inc. acquired Excaliard.
iCo-007 is an antisense drug that targets c-Raf kinase. In preclinical studies, clinicians associated antisense inhibition of c-Raf kinase with a reduction in the formation and leakage of new blood vessels in the eye, suggesting inhibiting c-Raf kinase can help patients with diabetic macular edema and diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy is one of the leading causes of blindness in people in the United States, and a high percentage of type 1 diabetics have evidence of retinopathy by age 20. Additionally up to 21 percent of people with type 2 diabetes have retinopathy at the time of the first diagnosis of diabetes, and most will eventually develop some degree of retinopathy over time. We discovered iCo-007 and licensed it to iCo Therapeutics Inc., or iCo, for the treatment of various eye diseases that occur as complications of diabetes.
In May 2010, investigators evaluating iCo-007 in patients with diffuse diabetic macular edema presented positive results from the Phase 1 study showing that subjects tolerated iCo-007 well. In this study, a number of individuals exhibited a decrease of central macular edema compared to baseline using an analytical method called optical coherence tomography.
Plazomicin, formerly ACHN-490, is a next-generation aminoglycoside drug that Achaogen, Inc. is developing for the treatment of multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacterial infections. Aminoglycosides are a group of antibiotics that inhibit bacterial protein synthesis and that clinicians use to treat serious bacterial infections. Achaogen discovered plazomicin based on technology licensed from us.
Plazomicin has displayed broad-spectrum activity in animals against multi-drug resistant gram-negative bacteria that cause systemic infections, including E. coli, and against methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA. In preclinical studies, plazomicin demonstrated an acceptable safety profile and the potential for once-daily dosing. Achaogen has completed a Phase 1 study of plazomicin in healthy volunteers and a Phase 2 study. In the Phase 2 study, Achaogen evaluated plazomicin compared to levofloxacin for the treatment of complicated urinary tract infections and acute kidney infections in adults. In this study, patients treated with plazomicin tolerated the drug well and patients demonstrated favorable activity of plazomicin as compared to levofloxacin.
XEN701 is an antisense drug designed to treat anemia of inflammation, or AI. Anemia is a condition in which the body has a lower than normal number of red blood cells. AI is a type of anemia that commonly occurs with chronic, or long-term illnesses, including cancer and inflammatory disorders. Patients with AI cannot use iron properly, which results in a reduction of red blood cell production. XEN701 targets a hormone secreted by the liver in response to inflammatory mediators that inhibits intestinal iron uptake and release of stored iron.
XEN701is the first drug to enter development in our collaboration with Xenon Pharmaceuticals to develop antisense drugs that target the hepcidin-hemojuvelin pathway to treat AI. Antisense drugs targeting hemojuvelin and hepcidin should provide therapeutic benefit to patients with AI by reversing iron disturbances and facilitating red blood cell production.
ISIS-GSK3Rx is an antisense drug to an undisclosed target designed to treat a viral infection. ISIS-GSK3Rx is the third drug to enter development under our collaboration with GSK. We will receive milestone payments from GSK as ISIS-GSK3Rx advances in development, and we are responsible for development of the drug up to phase 2 proof-of-concept, at which time GSK has the option to license ISIS-GSK3Rx from us. We are also eligible to receive double-digit royalties on sales of ISIS-GSK3Rx.