Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Finally! New kind of asthma treatment--blocking mast cell activation

For that last twenty years all we have gotten from Big Pharma and drug researchers for new treatments of asthma is the same old steroids and antihistamines just slightly reformulated, so they can be patented over and over again. Nevertheless these "new", "reformulated" same old, same old medications do exactly the same job and help in the exactly the same way. Those that have symptoms not helped by these medications (like me) are given nothing new. Just big hype as a 'brand new' antihistamine is released.

However, now finally someone out there is running clinical trials for what could be a revolution for allergies, asthma, and those like me with hypersensitivities to many foods and meds apparently due to dysregulated mast cells. (Mast cells are a kind of stationary white blood cell. Millions and millions line the surfaces of all wet and dry epithelial tissue--skin and mucous membranes).

Improperly functioning mast cells are not just a problem for allergy and asthma. There has also been evidence that when mast cell activation (degranulation) is not well controlled in folks with autoimmune disease that their disease progression is faster and more severe. So this new med has the potential to alleviate some autoimmune symptoms as well. Fingers crossed. My typing to G-d's ear.

I hope this new med is a home run and not another Osiris Prochymal disappointment (scam?). I dare not hope too much. I was crushed by the failure of Prochymal after my hopes were raised so high. If only there really was a way to get healthy immune cells to live inside of us who have immune related disorders. Imagine if healthy immune cells could get inside and regulate our malfunctioning immune cells. Cure! Freedom! Life again!

I hate being stuck with the crummy immune system I was born with. Far worse is the immune system that gave my youngest son, Paul, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, and ankylosing spondylitis. If only my wife could give a few of her immune cells to Paul. There is supposed to be mother/son privilege for cell swaps. Come on someone give it a try with Paul and my wife. Or if my mother (or brother or sister) were healthy enough to give me some of their nicely functioning immune cells. I want a big batch of IL-10 producing T regs first.

Not that everyone in my birth and married families is not willing to donate and receive. But try to find a researcher/doctor who will try such things. No luck. None zero. All a bunch of cowards out to protect their "career investment" instead of finding cures as fast as possible. That is why Prochymal's promise of not needing to match HLA types when infusing someone else's immune cells seemed so wonderful. Too good to be true always is. I hope the folks who hyped the lie at Osiris are happy with their piles of stock money that they undoubtedly made by hyping the "lie".

Anyway here is the article about blocking mast cells to stop allergies. Please immune god(s), please let this one work. Aren't you tired of torturing us?
Still seem to have nasal infection. Seems no worse. Saw another doctor today. A really nice one. He is trying a different formulation of the same topical ointment I am using it to stop the infection so that I do not have to apply ointment with a super long "Q tip" which may be irritating the tissue.

Oxagen Announces Completion Of Recruitment In Phase IIb Dose Range-Finding Clinical Trial In New Oral Treatment For Asthma
Main Category: Respiratory / Asthma
Also Included In: Clinical Trials / Drug Trials
Article Date: 10 Dec 2009

Oxagen Limited, a drug discovery and development company specializing in inflammation, announced that the recruitment for its double blind, randomised, placebo controlled Phase IIb clinical trial in asthma with OC000459, its lead oral CRTH2 (DP2) antagonist, has now been completed.

The study, which was initiated in mid May 2009, is expected to complete by the end of Q2 2010. It involves 440 asthmatic patients with moderate persistent asthma who will be randomised to one of three possible dose levels of OC000459 or placebo by oral tablet for a 12 week dosing period, with lung function (improvement in clinic FEV1) being the primary end point.

The purpose of the study is to determine the magnitude of further improvement in lung function and asthma symptoms on longer term therapy and to define the optimal once daily oral dose of OC000459.

Mark Payton PhD, Oxagen's Chief Executive Officer said "This represents an exciting time for Oxagen and a key phase in the clinical development of this compound following our recent successful proof-of - concept studies in both asthma and allergic rhinitis. We believe oral CRTH2 antagonists offer a valuable contribution to respiratory medicine and this study maintains Oxagen's position as one of the leading players in this field."

The Phase IIb trial follows the successful completion of a Phase IIa programme in which four Phase IIa trials were completed with efficacy demonstrated in asthma and allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. Over 600 subjects have been treated with OC000459 to date and results so far indicate the drug to be well tolerated.

Oxagen recently completed a £16 Million ($26.7 Million) Series C financing led by Novartis Venture Funds. The proceeds of the funding are being used primarily to advance the Company's CRTH2 antagonist programme in inflammatory and respiratory diseases, including the completion of this Phase IIb clinical study of OC000459 in moderate persistent asthma.

About Oxagen

Oxagen is a biopharmaceutical company building a novel drug pipeline with a focus on inflammatory and respiratory diseases. Oxagen's pipeline of novel small molecule drugs is based on targets validated in man.

Oxagen was established in April 1997. The Company is based in Milton Park, south of Oxford. For more information on Oxagen, please visit http://www.oxagen.co.uk

About CRTH2 and OC000459

The G-protein coupled receptor, CRTH2 (chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells also known as DP2) mediates allergic responses by interaction with the mast cell product prostaglandin D2. There is now overwhelming evidence that CRTH2 plays a central role in the recruitment of leukocytes and their activation to elaborate Th2 cytokines in allergic disease, findings which highlight the potential therapeutic utility of CRTH2 antagonists.

OC000459 is a potent, selective and orally active CRTH2 antagonist, effective in reducing the recruitment and activation of Th2 lymphocytes, eosinophils and other cell types to sites of allergic inflammation.

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