Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (Nasdaq:RPTP), announced that the Company has acquired exclusive rights to intellectual property related to cysteamine and related compounds in the potential treatment of parasitic diseases, including malaria, from McGill University in Montreal, Canada.
The McGill patent covers the use of cysteamine and related compounds in the potential treatment of malaria in combination with artemisinin, the current standard of care. Researchers at McGill reported that, in mouse models of malaria, the combination not only significantly reduced parasite levels in red blood cells but also improved survival rates compared to artemisinin alone.
Ted Daley, President of Raptor’s Clinical Division, stated, “The McGill agreement provides Raptor with an entrée into the area of infectious disease that is based on what we believe are compelling and novel preclinical findings. With this preclinical foundation and the existing safety profile of cysteamine, we hope to advance this malaria program to a Phase 2 clinical stage quickly, aiming to leverage the various sources of grant funds available for clinical development of promising potential treatments for malaria. At the same time, exclusively licensing the intellectual property rights significantly strengthens and expands our proprietary position around cysteamine and related compounds.”
Dr. Philippe Gros, Professor of Biochemistry at McGill, said, “The challenge for researchers developing malaria treatments has been the ongoing evolution of drug-resistant parasites that necessitate the search for new drug formulations. We were encouraged by the preclinical results so far that cysteamine and related compounds may serve to improve the effectiveness of artemisinin when the two compounds are used in combination.”
Dr. Patrice Rioux, Raptor’s Chief Medical Officer said, “The research done at McGill has indicated that cysteamine may have clinical utility in malaria. As malaria remains a difficult to treat disease, we feel this is an appropriate and exciting therapeutic area to extend our studies of cysteamine bitartrate. We look forward to a continued collaboration with the researchers at McGill, as well as other malaria clinical thought leaders, as we take the program forward.”