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GEN News Highlights : Mar 5, 2012

Phosphate Therapeutics Takes Over Phosphate Binder from Medical Research Council

Firm also obtained $10.5 million to complete Phase II development.

Phosphate Therapeutics negotiated an exclusive agreement with the Medical Research Council (MRC) to acquire global rights to PT20, a Phase II-ready phosphate binder for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia.  The company has secured €10.5 million from Inventages Venture Capital to complete the Phase II program. PT20 was initially supported by funding from the MRC’s Development Gap Fund.

Patients with late-stage renal disease suffer from systemic phosphate accumulation, hyperphosphatemia, which enhances the risk of vascular calcification, leading to increased morbidity and mortality. Current treatments are often limited by limited therapeutic dosing range, low specificity, high pill loading, gastrointestinal side effects, calcium loading, or significant toxicity concerns, according to Phosphate Therapeutics.

PT20 is based on adipate-doped iron oxide technology, allowing it to act as a phosphate sponge. It was discovered and initially developed through clinical Phase I by MRC scientists based at the Human Nutrition Research Unit in Cambridge, U.K. PT20 exhibits high specificity and efficacy in phosphate binding both in vitro and in vivo, according to Phosphate Therapeutics and MRC. They report that in early studies PT20 appears to display characteristics that may position it as superior to current or known pipeline phosphate binders as it has the potential to overcome the key disadvantages in this class of therapeutics.

Phosphate Therapeutics expects to initiate a confirmatory Phase I pharmacokinetic study in the second half of this year and start a Phase II dose-escalating, comparator study in 2013 for the treatment of hyperphosphatemia in patients with predialysis and dialysis-dependent chronic kidney disease.