Advitech aims for psoriasis deal by year-end

By Staff Reporter

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Ulcerative colitis, Advitech

Advitech is embroiled in discussions with potential partners to
bring its XP-828L product to market, targeting sufferers of mild to
moderate psoriasis and other inflammatory diseases.

The Canadian biotech has spent the past year conducting clinical trials to support the safety and efficacy of its sweet whey-derived ingredient, to give it more weight with both dermatologists and natural product suppliers.

It now says it has signed confidentiality agreements and met with companies from the United States, Europe and Asia, and has been contacted by a number of companies interested in distributing the product.

Advitech's immediate aim is to sign an agreement in principle with its first marketing partner before 2005 is out.

At the beginning of this month, Advitech announced positive results of a preclinical study into XP-828P for inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and autoimmune colitis, conducted in collaboration with Patrice Poubelle at the Centre de Recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université Laval. The in vivo​ studies using two animal models indicated statistically-significant improvements of several clinical parameters, and showed a dose-dependent effect, said the company.

"These results confirm the potential of our XP-828L platform in the development of additional applications for chronic inflammatory diseases,"​said president and CEO Renaud Beauchesne.

"Our strategy at this time consists in identifying the best possible partner for continuing the development of this application, and for bringing it to market. Discussions are already under way to develop a partnership for this application."

However the company's net loss continued to deepen in 3Q 2005, to C$528,100 compared to C$446,100 for the same period of last year. Operating expenses increased two percent to C$617,300, while total revenues plummeted from C$160,200 to C$89,200.

Advitech said it is "currently reviewing options to ensure continuous funding of its activities"​. One thing is apparent, however: the bioactive ingredient Lactium, for which Advitech sells to the US market under a 1999 agreement with Ingredia, is not performing as a cash cow.

Although the company indicated earlier this year that it plans to continue with this venture, the failure of resale activities to meet expectations and no new distribution agreements for the US market is causing it to reconsider.

"The company will be reassessing the status of such activities in the future and may decide not to renew its distribution agreement for this product,"​ it said.

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