Canbex Therapeutics receives £1.75 million Translation Award from the Wellcome Trust

25-Mar-2011 - United Kingdom

Canbex Therapeutics Ltd. announced today that it has received a Translation Award of up to 1.75 million ($2.8 million) from the Wellcome Trust to support development of a drug for the treatment of the debilitating muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis and potentially other disorders.

The award will facilitate further preclinical development of Canbex’s VSN series of compounds and the progression into clinical trials. It is anticipated that a Phase I trial of lead compound VSN16R could begin in December 2012.

Preclinical studies have shown that VSN16R treatment reduces muscle spasms in an animal model of MS spasticity, with a far lower burden of side effects than the decades-old compounds that are currently in clinical use.  Even at high doses, animals treated with of VSN16R did not show the limpness and muscle flaccidity, know as the “rag doll effect”, that is a characteristic of existing compounds. 

Current forms of treatment for spasticity are unsatisfactory, and a drug against spasticity that is well tolerated and effective could make a substantial difference to quality of life for MS patients and potentially many others. 

Canbex has been developing its VSN series of compounds with the support of investors including Fast Forward LLC, a not for profit organization established by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, USA, to accelerate the development of treatments for MS. “Fast Forward’s support has been a uniquely powerful endorsement of our efforts, one which has encouraged other funders and the MS community to engage with us,” Stephane Mery said.

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