RENEWAL OF CHRONIC OBSTRUCTIVE PULMONARY DISEASE (COPD) RESEARCH PROGRAM
Medivir (Huddinge, Sweden) and one of China’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Jiangsu Hengrui Medicine Company (Shanghai), instigated a research collaboration in December 2003 to develop protease inhibitors against chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Pivotal advances have been made and important milestones achieved in the project. Medivir and Hengrui have therefore elected to extend their research collaboration further to June 18th, 2007 for the development of drugs against COPD.
The project is based on Medivir’s COPD protease inhibitor program, screening systems and enabling technologies, combined with Hengrui’s acknowledged expertise in medicinal chemistry. Preclinical studies in specific test models have shown highly promising efficacy based on biomarkers. Further studies will now be undertaken within the collaboration and the next stage of the project is the selecting of one or more candidate drugs (CDs).
The agreement provides that pharmaceuticals resulting from the partnership are commercialized in China by Hengrui, and in the rest of the world by Medivir. There are a number of lead compounds amenable to further development, which allows for different strategies in the various markets.
COPD is a group of syndromes characterized by constriction of the airways, the accumulation of mucous and inflammation, leading to breathing difficulties. The disease arises primarily amongst smokers. COPD includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis and in certain cases asthma. COPD is currently the fourth most common cause of death in the USA. In China, respiratory disorders are the fourth most common cause of death in the cities and the most common source of fatality in rural areas. There are currently no satisfactory treatments for COPD.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT
Rein Piir, CFO and Vice President, Investor Relations, +46 8 546 831 23 or +46 708 537292