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Biotech firm Vaccinex begins clinical trial

By SMRITI JACOB - 1/7/2013 3:46:18 PM

Biotechnology firm Vaccinex Inc. has initiated a Phase I clinical trial to assess a therapeutic antibody candidate in patients with multiple sclerosis.

The trial will test the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics, or the analysis of the movement of drugs in the body. The antibody candidate, VX15/2503, targets the multi-functional protein semaphorin 4D and represents the second clinical trial for the investigational drug.

Studies have shown that anti-semaphorin 4D antibody can successfully ameliorate disease severity, officials said. Antibodies are proteins produced by the body as an immune response.

“It is particularly gratifying for Vaccinex to translate into the clinic the first therapeutic to target this important new class of regulatory molecules,” said Maurice Zauderer, president and CEO of Vaccinex, in a statement. “Research in our own and other laboratories has shown that the multiple activities of (semaphorin 4D) have a coordinated detrimental effect on progression of neurological diseases, several types of cancer and some other inflammatory and/or degenerative conditions.”

Vaccinex is completing a parallel trial of VX15/2503 antibody in patients with solid tumors, he said.

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