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Autifony Therapeutics recruits first patient into Phase IIa trial for age related hearing loss


Imperial Innovations Group plc (AIM: IVO, 'Innovations', “the Group”) is pleased to note that portfolio company Autifony Therapeutics (“Autifony” or “the Company”) has today announced that it has recruited the first subject in a Phase IIa study for treatment of age-related hearing loss.

This study (called CLARITY-1) will explore the potential of Autifony’s lead product AUT00063, to improve hearing in the elderly by focusing on the discrimination of speech from background noise. The study will be conducted in around 14 key sites across the USA.

Age-related hearing loss is an area of significant unmet medical need affecting up to half of people over the age of 65. For some the onset can occur well before that time; with the UK charity Action on Hearing Loss estimating that 40% of over 50 year olds have some form of hearing loss. T

he key complaint for those suffering from age-related hearing loss is difficulty understanding speech, in particular in noisy environments, or where several people are talking at the same time, such as at social gatherings. There are no current treatment options and whilst hearing aids or cochlear implants can help some sufferers, interpreting speech remains a challenge.

AUT00063 is a novel, first-in-class Kv3 potassium channel modulator and is also in development for the treatment of tinnitus, with a Phase IIa clinical trial in this indication already underway in the UK.

Maina Bhaman, Director of Healthcare Ventures, Imperial Innovations, said

“Autifony’s concept of using a pharmaceutical treatment to improve hearing is completely novel and CLARITY is a pioneering trial. It is also a significant milestone for Autifony in that it highlights the acceptance of the Company’s first IND (Investigational New Drug) by the FDA.

“In addition to making good progress with its clinical trials into hearing disorders, Autifony has also recently announced a £3.3 million collaborative project to progress its new drug, AUT00206, which is being developed against the same Kv3 ion channel target, into clinical trials for the treatment of schizophrenia.

“This will be the company’s second product in clinical trials and will be largely funded by an award of £2.4 million from the Biomedical Catalyst, jointly funded by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council.

This funding will allow Autifony to initiate clinical trials to test the safety and tolerability of AUT00206, and also to continue its collaboration with the University of Manchester and Newcastle University on further in-depth research into the new drug’s mechanism of action.”

At 31 January 2015 the Group had a 25.1% interest in Autifony Therapeutics with a fair value of £6.1 million

ENDS

Notes To Editors

About Imperial Innovations - www.imperialinnovations.co.uk

Imperial Innovations Group plc creates, builds and invests in pioneering technologies developed from the academic research within the ‘Golden Triangle’ broadly bounded by London, Cambridge and Oxford, which is home to the UK’s four leading research-intensive universities.

This area is home to many new technology companies through its proximity to the academic communities of Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London, as well as other leading research institutions.

Imperial College London, the University of Cambridge, the University of Oxford and University College London collectively have research income of £1.4 billion per annum and are ranked as four of the top ten Universities in the world (source: QS World University Rankings 2014/15).

Innovations supports scientists and entrepreneurs in the commercialisation of their ideas through the licensing of intellectual property, by leading the formation of new companies, providing facilities in the early stages, providing investment and encouraging co-investment to accelerate development, providing operational expertise and recruiting high-calibre management teams. It also runs an incubator in London that is the initial home for many of its technology spin-outs.

Since admission of its shares to trading on AIM in 2006, Innovations has raised more than £346.0 million of equity from investors, which has enabled it to invest in some of the most exciting spin-outs to come out of UK academic research. In addition, the Group has a £30.0 million loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB) for investment in biotech and therapeutics businesses.

During the period from admission on AIM up until 31 January 2015, Innovations has invested a total of £198.3 million across its portfolio companies, which have raised collectively investment of £926.8 million rising to £1.0 billion including post period end investments and commitments.

About Autifony Therapeutics Ltd www.autifony.com
Autifony Therapeutics is an independent UK based biotechnology company formed in 2011 as a spin-out from GSK, which retains equity in the company. The company is focused on the development of high value, novel medicines to treat hearing disorders and serious disorders of the central nervous system, such as schizophrenia. Autifony Therapeutics is funded by SV Life Sciences, Imperial Innovations, Pfizer Venture Investments, International Biotechnology Trust PLC and UCL Business.

Issued for and on behalf of Imperial Innovations by Instinctif Partners.

For more information please contact:

Imperial Innovations Group plc
Russ Cummings, Chief Executive Officer
Jon Davies, Director of Communications
020 3053 8834

Instinctif Partners
Adrian Duffield/Melanie Toyne-Sewell
020 7457 2020

J.P. Morgan Cazenove (Nominated Adviser)
Michael Wentworth Stanley/Alec Pratt
020 7742 4000

Cenkos Securities
Christopher Golden
020 7397 8900


Publisher Contact Information:

Imperial College Innovations Limited
020 3053 8834
-

Company profile of Touchstone Innovations (formerly Imperial Innovations)
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