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OCTOPLUS/LUMC BEGIN TRIALS FOR MIDDLE EAR INFECTION DRUG.

An innovative drug against chronic middle ear infection has gone into patient trials in Leiden, The Netherlands. Drug delivery and development company OctoPlus and the Leiden University Medical Centre (LUMC) have joined forces in this clinical trial, with OctoPlus taking responsibility for further commercialization. The product has a unique mechanism of action. It may offer benefits for patients with chronic middle ear infection and other chronic infections of the upper airways that can not be treated adequately with existing antibiotics. In pre-clinical studies, the drug was proven to neutralize toxic microbial degradation products and showed no side effects.

Middle ear infections and other infections of the upper airways often result in the presence of toxic microbial degradation products, so-called toxins, that remain at the site of infection. These toxins are unresponsive to traditional antibiotics and as a result chronic infections can occur. Often, surgical procedures are required to treat these infections. The new drug, developed by LUMC, has a novel mechanism of action; it neutralizes toxins at the site of infection and locally restores the body's natural clearance mechanism.

Middle ear infections are very common, affecting approximately 15% of all children. Given the mechanism of action of the drug, the potential exists to expand into other indications in the future, for example sinusitis and chronic bronchitis.

Clinical trials lead by Dr. Grote, Department of Otorhinolaryngology are in collaboration with Dr. Drijfhout, Department of Immunohematology and Blood Transfusion. "There is a clear need to develop novel therapies for infections of the upper airways to combat the increasing resistance against established antibiotics and to address chronic infections that do not respond well to current therapies," said Grote.

Joost Holthuis, CEO of OctoPlus, said, "We are very pleased to work with the LUMC as a strong clinical partner and look forward to first patient data on safety and efficacy of this novel compound."

OctoPlus OctoPlus is a product-oriented drug delivery company that focuses on the development of innovative drug delivery systems to build a pipeline of product candidates. OctoPlus is also an internationally established provider of pharmaceutical development services and GMP manufacturing for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The company is located in Leiden, The Netherlands.

For more information, visit http://www.octoplus.nl.
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Publication:Worldwide Biotech
Date:Mar 1, 2004
Words:370
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