REHOVOT, Israel, June 3, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Foamix, a clinical-stage, specialty pharmaceutical company today announced a collaboration agreement with the National Eye Institute (NEI), one of the National Institutes of Health, to develop treatments for geographic atrophy (GA). The focus of the collaboration is the development of an effective therapy for GA using Foamix's stable patented topical OilGel® formulation containing minocycline, an antibiotic in the tetracycline family that also has anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-apoptotic and neuro-protective properties.
GA, sometimes referred to as the atrophic or "dry" form of AMD, is an advanced form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 50 in the western world. The global prevalence of GA is 0.66% in all ages but it occurs in 0.34% of people between 65-74 years old, 1.3% of people from 75-84 years old, and 4.4% of people over 85 years old. Altogether, GA affects more than 8 million people worldwide, and more than one million in the U.S. Owing to the rapidly aging American population, the number of people affected by GA is expected to increase. Currently, there is no FDA-approved therapy for the treatment or prevention of GA.
NEI will participate with Foamix in the development of an IND application and the refinement of a protocol in support of a potential clinical trial of minocycline gel for GA. "We are excited to be working with the National Institutes of Health to develop an innovative treatment for GA, a devastating degenerative eye disease which afflicts millions of people worldwide," said Dov Tamarkin, Ph.D., CEO of Foamix.
For more information about NEI, visit www.nei.nih.gov.
Foamix Ltd. is a clinical-stage, privately held specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative topical products for dermatology. The Company's lead product, Minocycline Foam, is a novel topical foam formulation of minocycline with long-term stability that is expected to be used for the treatment of acne, skin infections and rosacea. Minocycline is a well-known broad-spectrum oral antibiotic, which Foamix has uniquely transformed into a topically-applied, patented composition, thereby increasing efficacy, speed of action and minimizing side effects. The Company has successfully completed Phase 2 clinical trials in acne and in impetigo using its patented Minocycline Foam compositions.
Foamix also has a proprietary stable minocycline gel, which is directed for eye treatment.
As an IP leader in topical drug delivery, including foam and gel systems, having 28 issued patents in the United States, Foamix has licensed foam products based on its foam technologies to pharmaceutical companies, such as Bayer, Merz and Actavis, that are at various stages of development including Phase 2, Phase 3 clinical trials and pre-NDA stages.
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