Imperial Innovations - Circassia’s house dust mite allergy treatment achieves long-term symptom reduction

05:24 EDT 12 Sep 2013 | Instinctif Partners

imperial innovations

12th Septmber 2013: Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, “Innovations”), the leading technology commercialisation and investment group, announces that portfolio company Circassia, the specialty biopharmaceutical company focused on allergy, has achieved successful results from a phase II clinical study of its house dust mite allergy treatment.

Patients who received four doses of the treatment over 12 weeks had significantly improved allergy symptoms one year after the start of the trial compared with placebo, meeting the study’s long-term primary endpoint. 

The trial was conducted in Toronto, Canada, where 172 volunteers with confirmed house dust mite allergy received one of four treatment regimens or placebo.  Investigators measured patients’ allergy symptoms when exposed to house dust mite allergens, at the start and during the 12-month study. Circassia has submitted the study results for presentation at a leading scientific conference. 

House dust mites are found widely throughout homes, in bedding, carpets, soft furnishings and clothing.  Allergy to proteins in the mites’ droppings is extremely common, and often associated with asthma.  In the United States and Europe, approximately one in four people are sensitised to house dust mites, with more people having allergic responses than to any other common allergen.  House dust mite allergy is a perennial condition that can impact sufferers’ education, work, quality of life and social activities. 

Other allergies for which Circassia is developing a treatment include cat, currently in phase III trials and grass, currently in phase II.

Russ Cummings, CEO of Innovations, said: “The long term success of Circassia’s house dust mite allergy treatment endorses the potential of its allergy treatment platform. This progress is a great demonstration of the value that is being developed within Innovations’ portfolio of technologies."

Steve Harris, CEO of Circassia added:
“These results reflect the significant long-term improvements we achieved with a similar short-course of our cat allergy treatment, reinforcing the effectiveness of our platform for allergy treatments.
In many countries, house dust mites are responsible for more allergies than any other allergen, causing year-round suffering for millions of people.  This trial demonstrates the potential of our ToleroMune® technology to reduce sufferers’ symptoms long term, and to revolutionise allergy the rapy by achieving this with a simple short course of treatment.”


Imperial Innovations Group Plc +44 (0)20 7594 6506
Russ Cummings, Chief Executive Officer 
Terry Nicklin, Director of Communications 
College Hill  +44 (0)20 7457 2020
Adrian Duffield/Tim Watson/Rozi Morris 
J.P. Morgan Cazenove +44 (0)20 7742 4000
Michael Wentworth Stanley/Alec Pratt 
Notes to editors

About Circassia –

Circassia was founded by a team of highly experienced biotechnology scientists and entrepreneurs.  The company is based in the UK on the Oxford Science Park, and its joint venture with McMaster University (Adiga Life Sciences Inc) is located in Hamilton, Canada.  Circassia’s ToleroMune® technology was developed originally by scientists at Imperial College, London.  Having successfully completed five fundraising rounds, Circassia has raised approximately £105 million ($178 million) and is backed by a syndicate of world-class institutional investors, including Imperial Innovations and Invesco Perpetual.

About Imperial Innovations -
Innovations creates, builds and invests in pioneering university technologies addressing global problems in healthcare, energy, engineering and the environment.  It combines deep understanding of science and technology with commercial acumen and strong investment expertise. Innovations acts as the Technology Transfer office for Imperial College, providing IP protection, licensing and business-building services, giving it very early access to research outputs from this leading research university.

Innovations invests in companies based on technologies from or associated with four universities: Imperial College London, Cambridge University, Oxford University, and UCL, supported by collaborations with Cambridge Enterprise, OSEM and UCL Business.  These are the UK’s leading research intensive universities, measured by research income.

Innovations supports scientist-entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas by:
• leading the formation of new companies and providing facilities in the early stages
• providing significant investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate the transition from R&D to products
• providing operational expertise
• helping to recruit high-calibre industry figures and experienced entrepreneurs as executive management and Board members

Innovations raised £140 million in January 2011. In the year to 31 July 2012, it invested £37.9 million (2011: £35.1 million) in 29 ventures, and made 11 investments in new companies. In July 2013, Innovations obtained a £30m, 12-year loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) to invest in the biotech and therapeutics sectors.

In its current portfolio of around 80 companies, Innovations’ assets include Veryan, a medical devices business developing improved stent technologies and Acunu, a Cambridge-associated business specialising in ‘big data’, with technology that enables its customers to create large, quickly accessible databases using low cost hardware.


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