Allelix Experiments on Space Shuttle Set to Begin.
The experiments on mission STS-95 will examine the effects of microgravity on bone cells and the ability of these cells to grow new bone in response to ALX1-11. Payload specialist John H. Glenn is overseeing management of these tests throughout the nine-day mission.
"Space travel has a deleterious effect on the skeleton, leading to the onset of space-induced osteoporosis in a very short period of time," said Dr. John Dietrich, senior vice president of research and development at Allelix. "In space, bone loss can be four to ten times faster than on earth. These studies may shed light on why bone loss occurs so rapidly in space as well as provide a potential treatment for this loss."
"The shuttle mission provides a unique and valuable environment to better understand space induced bone loss," said Graham Strachan, president and chief executive officer of Allelix. "The OSTEO experiments on STS-95 will provide knowledge about this condition that could benefit osteoporosis patients on earth and astronauts of the future. We are pleased to be working closely with the Canadian Space Agency and our Ontario based industrial and academic partners in this challenging and important research."
Recent clinical studies conducted by Allelix and to be reported in detail in December at the meeting of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research have shown that ALX1-11 significantly increases bone mass previously lost as a result of osteoporosis.
In a release of top-line Phase II data reported October 23, 1998, ALX1-11 was reported to reverse bone loss suffered by patients with postmenopausal osteoporosis. The effects of ALX1-11 in this trial were greater than any other reported data on an agent used to treat this disease. The ability of ALX1-11 to reverse bone loss in osteoporosis patients suggests that it may have a similar effect in managing the skeletal loss accompanying space flight.
The Allelix test is one of three Canadian experiments aboard STS-95 that make up the OSTEO payload, a bone research collaboration sponsored by the Canadian Space Agency. Other partners in OSTEO are Millenium Biologix Inc., Mount Sinai Hospital, University of British Columbia and the University of Toronto.
Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. is a Canadian based company with R&D facilities in Canada and the United States. The Company discovers and develops biopharmaceuticals in partnership with international pharmaceutical companies and other members of the biopharmaceutical sector.
Products in clinical development include ALX1-11 for osteoporosis, ALX-0646 for migraine and ALX-0600 for gastrointestinal disorders. The product pipeline includes ALE-26015 for dementia, a series of GlyT-1 inhibitors for schizophrenia and additional neuroscience compounds.
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|Date:||Oct 30, 1998|
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