News & press

Istesso announces appointment of non-executive directors

Istesso Limited (‘’Istesso’’) is pleased to announce the appointment of Professor Sir Keith Peters and Peter Allen as non-executive directors with immediate effect.

Sir Keith is one of the UK’s most distinguished clinician-scientists, having previously been Regius Professor of Physic and Head of the School of Clinical Medicine at the University of Cambridge. From 2005-2016 he acted as Senior Consultant in R&D at GSK, reporting to the President of R&D, during which time he also served on GSK’s Global Safety Board. From 2006-2008 he was interim Director of the MRC National Institute for Medical Research where he played a key role in the conception of the Francis Crick Institute. Sir Keith is a Fellow of the Royal Society and was President of the Academy of Medical Sciences from 2002-2006. His research focused on immuno-inflammatory mechanisms in kidney and blood vessel disease.

Peter Allen has over 20 years’ experience in senior board positions in a wide portfolio of healthcare companies. He is currently non-executive Chairman of Clinigen plc, Advanced Medical Solutions plc and Diurnal Group plc. Peter was Chairman and interim Chief Executive Officer of ProStrakan Group plc at the time of its £292m acquisition by Kyowa Kirin in 2011 and Chairman of Proximagen Neuroscience plc at the time of its £223m acquisition by Upsher Smith in 2012. From 1992-2004 he was Chief Financial Officer of Celltech Group plc where he played a critical role in managing the company’s flotation and several strategic acquisitions, and was Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the time of the company’s £1.5bn acquisition by UCB in 2004. Peter is a qualified chartered accountant by background and has a joint degree in Accountancy and Law.

Sir Keith and Peter join Sam Williams (CEO), Lisa Patel (CSO) and Alan Aubrey (Non-Executive Chairman) on the Istesso board.

For further information, please contact:

Istesso Limited

Dr Sam Williams, CEO             +44 207 444 0066

Notes to Editors

About Istesso

Istesso is a drug discovery and development company working in the field of immunometabolism. Istesso’s pipeline of pre-clinical and clinical assets work by reprogramming metabolism to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Istesso was founded in 2017 as the new holding company for Modern Biosciences plc. For more information please visit www.istesso.co.uk.

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Istesso announces positive outcome from patient cohort in Phase 1 study of MBS2320

Istesso Limited (‘’Istesso’’) is pleased to announce new data from a cohort of patients dosed as part of a Phase 1 study of MBS2320, its investigational drug for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”). MBS2320 was safe and well-tolerated in these patients, and showed no interaction with background therapy. In addition, positive trends consistent with MBS2320’s mode of action were observed in biomarkers of inflammation and bone metabolism.

MBS2320 is a first-in-class metabolic reprogramming agent for the treatment of RA and is distinguished from existing RA treatments by its dual mode-of-action which directly targets both inflammation and bone degradation. As previously announced by Istesso, MBS2320 has already demonstrated good safety and tolerability and predictable pharmacokinetics in healthy volunteers as part of the Phase 1 study. A cohort of eight RA patients was included in the study to evaluate the pharmacokinetics of MBS2320 in patients taking methotrexate, a standard background RA therapy, and whether there is any interaction between the drugs. No interaction was observed.

In pre-clinical models of RA, MBS2320 has demonstrated an ability to reduce inflammation and promote remodelling of damaged bone. In the patient cohort, changes in biomarkers of inflammation, bone degradation and bone formation were observed that are consistent with this dual mode-of-action.

MBS2320 is currently being dosed as part of a Phase 2a study in RA, for which data is expected in late 2018. The Phase 2a study is a 12-week randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-centre trial assessing the safety, tolerability and efficacy of MBS2320. Istesso anticipates that results will be available in late 2018.

For further information, please contact:

Istesso Limited

Dr Sam Williams, CEO               +44 207 444 0066 

Notes to Editors

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease affecting 165 million people worldwide, or one per cent of the global population. It is a painful condition that, unchecked, can cause severe disability. The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damaging cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected but the hands, feet and wrists are most commonly involved, preventing patients from carrying out everyday tasks.

About MBS2320

MBS2320 is a first-in-class metabolic reprogramming agent for the treatment of RA and is distinguished from existing treatments by its dual mode-of-action which not only reduces inflammation, thereby preventing the progression of disease, but may also promote bone and joint remodelling. MBS2320 is subject to an Option and Licence Agreement with Janssen Biotech Inc.

About Istesso

Istesso is a drug discovery and development company working in the field of immunometabolism. Istesso’s pipeline of pre-clinical and clinical assets work by reprogramming metabolism to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Istesso was founded in 2017 as the new holding company for Modern Biosciences plc. For more information please visit www.istesso.co.uk.

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Istesso commences Phase 2a for MBS2320 in rheumatoid arthritis and expands R&D collaboration with Janssen

Istesso Ltd (‘’Istesso’’) is pleased to announce the successful dosing of the first patients in a Phase 2a study of its investigational drug, MBS2320, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”). The progression to Phase 2a follows the successful completion of dosing in a Phase 1 study and is accompanied by an expansion of the financial terms of Istesso’s 2014 Option and Licence Agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (“Janssen”).

MBS2320 is a first-in-class metabolic reprogramming agent for the treatment of RA and is distinguished from existing treatments by its dual mode-of-action which not only reduces inflammation, thereby preventing the progression of disease, but may also promote bone and joint remodelling.

The progression to Phase 2a follows the analysis of data emerging from a Phase 1 trial in which MBS2320 has demonstrated good safety and tolerability in healthy volunteers, as well as predictable blood exposure levels (“pharmacokinetics”). Analysis of the data from a cohort of RA patients included in the trial is ongoing, with good safety and tolerability observed to date.

The Phase 2a study is a 12-week randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-centre trial assessing the safety, tolerability and efficacy of MBS2320. Istesso anticipates that results will be available in late 2018.

For further information, please contact:

Istesso Limited

Dr Sam Williams, CEO               +44 207 444 0066

Notes to Editors

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling autoimmune disease affecting 165 million people worldwide, or one per cent of the global population. It is a painful condition that, unchecked, can cause severe disability. The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damaging cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected but the hands, feet and wrists are most commonly involved, preventing patients from carrying out everyday tasks.

About MBS2320

MBS2320 is a first-in-class metabolic reprogramming agent for the treatment of RA and is distinguished from existing treatments by its dual mode-of-action which not only reduces inflammation, thereby preventing the progression of disease, but may also promote bone and joint remodelling. MBS2320 is subject to an Option and Licence Agreement with Janssen Biotech Inc.

About Istesso

Istesso is a drug discovery and development company working in the field of immunometabolism. Istesso’s pipeline of pre-clinical and clinical assets act by reprogramming metabolism to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Istesso was founded in 2017 as the holding company for Modern Biosciences plc. For more information please visit www.istesso.co.uk.

Modern Biosciences announces collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Innovation and Janssen for novel oral therapies for rheumatoid arthritis

Modern Biosciences plc (‘’MBS’’) is pleased to announce that it has entered into an R&D alliance and global option and licence agreement with Janssen Biotech, Inc. (“Janssen”) in relation to MBS’ novel bone-protective compounds for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”). The goal of the collaboration, facilitated by the Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre in London, is to develop new drugs for the treatment of RA.

Under the terms of the exclusive agreement, MBS will receive an up-front payment and is eligible to receive development, regulatory and commercialisation milestone payments up to a potential total of £176 million. In addition, MBS will receive royalties on future sales of any products that may result from the alliance upon successful launch and commercialisation.

RA is a severe, painful inflammatory disease that can cause progressive joint and bone erosion and eventually lead to disability. MBS’ compounds work by a novel mechanism of action that targets both the inflammatory component of RA and the associated bone destruction. This approach has the potential to not only protect the joints of people living with RA from further damage but to control the pain and swelling associated with the disease. The most advanced of MBS’ compounds is in pre-clinical development and is due to enter Phase 1 clinical studies in 2015.

Sam Williams, CEO of MBS, said: “We are delighted to be working with Janssen to progress our novel series of compounds. MBS’ compounds have unique characteristics compared to existing treatments for rheumatoid arthritis and we believe Janssen is an ideal partner with which to take the molecules forward. This agreement demonstrates MBS’ business model, which is to take early-stage assets from academia and advance them to a point of value inflexion when they can be licensed to industry, generating a return for our stakeholders.”

For further information, please contact: Dr Sam Williams, CEO 0845 074 2929

Notes to Editors

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease affecting 165 million people worldwide, or one per cent of the global population. It is an incredibly painful condition, can cause severe disability and ultimately affects a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damage to cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected but it is commonly the hands, feet and wrists that are involved. It is a systemic disease which means that it can affect the whole body and internal organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes.

About MBS’ bone-protective compounds

MBS’ novel bone-protection programme was licensed in 2007 from OsteoRX Limited (“OsteoRX”), a spin-out company from the University of Aberdeen (“Aberdeen”). The programme comprises a series of orally available small molecules which are highly effective in preventing rheumatoid arthritis in disease models. The compounds act via a novel molecular mechanism which means they not only reduce inflammation and bone damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis, but have the potential to reverse bone damage via a directly protective effect that is unique amongst existing agents. Under the terms of its agreement with OsteoRX and Aberdeen, MBS will share an undisclosed percentage of revenue generated under the Janssen agreement with Aberdeen and other stakeholders. MBS’ novel bone-protection programme was recently the subject of a £2.4 million award from Innovate UK through the BioMedical Catalyst (“BMC”). The BMC funding will make an important contribution to the Phase 1 programme and builds upon an earlier £1.6 million BMC award made in 2012 which enabled the programme to progress to its current stage.

About Modern Biosciences

Modern Biosciences is a drug development company which sources late-stage discovery projects from academia, conducts early proof-of-principle clinical studies and out-licenses the resulting programmes to the pharmaceutical industry. MBS’ major shareholder is IP Group plc, the developer of intellectual property based businesses. For more information, please visit www.modernbiosciences.com.

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Modern Biosciences wins £2.4 million award from UK Government’s Biomedical Catalyst

Modern Biosciences plc (“Modern Biosciences”) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of up to £2.4 million by the UK Government-backed Biomedical Catalyst. The award will provide support for Modern Biosciences’ lead programme for the development of novel bone-protective compounds in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (“RA”).

RA is a severe, crippling inflammatory disease which causes progressive joint and bone erosion and eventual disability. MBS’ compounds act by an entirely novel mechanism of action to target both the inflammatory component of RA and its associated bone destruction. This has the potential to not only protect the joints of RA sufferers from further damage but to reverse existing damage.

The Biomedical Catalyst is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Today’s award to MBS will help fund the clinical development of a candidate molecule through Phase 1 clinical studies and provide evidence from patients for the drug’s efficacy and safety. This represents the second award of a Biomedical Catalyst grant to MBS in relation to the RA programme, the first of which was announced in 2012.

Dr Sam Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Modern Biosciences, said: “We are delighted to be offered a second award by the Biomedical Catalyst and we are grateful to the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, for its support. Our first Biomedical Catalyst award allowed us to take our rheumatoid arthritis programme to a point at which we can enter clinical studies, and this further award will now enable us to demonstrate the utility of the drugs in patients. Without this funding, our programme would never have progressed to this critical stage.”

For further information, please contact:

Dr Sam Williams, CEO 0845 074 2929

Notes to Editors

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease affecting 165 million people worldwide, or one per cent of the global population. It is an incredibly painful condition, can cause severe disability and ultimately affects a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damaging cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected, but the hands, feet and wrists are most commonly involved. RA is a systemic disease which means that it can affect the whole body and internal organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes.

About MBS’ bone-protective compounds

MBS’ novel bone-protection programme was licensed in 2007 from OsteoRX Limited (“OsteoRX”), a spin-out company from the University of Aberdeen (“Aberdeen”). The programme comprises a series of orally available small molecules which are highly effective in preventing RA in disease models. The compounds act via a novel molecular mechanism which means they not only reduce inflammation and bone damage associated with RA, but have the potential to reverse bone damage via a directly protective effect that is unique amongst existing agents.

About Modern Biosciences

Modern Biosciences is a drug development company which sources late-stage discovery projects from academia, conducts early proof-of-principle clinical studies and out-licenses the resulting programmes to the pharmaceutical industry. Modern Biosciences’ major shareholder is IP Group plc, the developer of intellectual property based businesses. For more information, please visit www.modernbiosciences.com.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK, the new name for the Technology Strategy Board, is the UK’s innovation agency. Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), Innovate UK brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

About Catalysts

Catalysts are run jointly by the UK’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, and the Research Councils. A Catalyst is a form of research and development funding which focuses on a specific priority area and aims to help take projects from research to as close to commercial viability as possible. The Catalyst model supports projects in priority areas where the UK research base has a leading position and where there is clear commercial potential. Current Catalysts include: Biomedical Catalyst, Agri-tech Catalyst and the Industrial Biotechnology Catalyst. For more details please visit: http://www.innovateuk.org/-/catalysts

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Modern Biosciences Plc Wins Biomedical Catalyst Award

Modern Biosciences plc (“Modern Biosciences”) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant of up to £1.6 million by the UK government-backed Biomedical Catalyst.  The award will provide support for Modern Biosciences’ lead anti-inflammatory programme, OsteoRx.

The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector.

The aim of the OsteoRx programme is to develop a new treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a serious and painful condition that affects 1% of the population. The OsteoRx compounds offer a potential alternative to current treatments for RA, being orally administered and working via a novel mechanism of action that involves inhibition of molecular pathways implicated in both inflammation and bone degradation.

Today’s award will help fund the development of a candidate molecule in the OsteoRx programme to the point at which an Initial New Drug (IND) application can be filed, enabling the commencement of clinical studies.

Modern Biosciences is an early-stage drug discovery company that is a member of the IP Group portfolio.

Dr Sam Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Modern Biosciences, said: “We are delighted to be offered an award under the BioMedical Catalyst initiative and we are grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for its support. The award enables us to take the OsteoRx programme to a much more advanced stage than might otherwise be possible, thereby increasing the chances of this new treatment reaching patients and achieving eventual commercial success.”

For further information, please contact:

Dr Sam Williams, CEO 0845 074 2929

Notes to Editors

About rheumatoid arthritis

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a chronic, progressive and disabling auto-immune disease affecting 165 million people worldwide, or one per cent of the global population. It is an incredibly painful condition, can cause severe disability and ultimately affects a person’s ability to carry out everyday tasks. The disease can progress very rapidly, causing swelling and damaging cartilage and bone around the joints. Any joint may be affected, but the hands, feet and wrists are most commonly involved. RA is a systemic disease which means that it can affect the whole body and internal organs such as the lungs, heart and eyes.

About OsteoRx

The OsteoRx programme was licensed by Modern Biosciences from the Universities of Aberdeen (“Aberdeen”) and Edinburgh (“Edinburgh”) in 2007. The programme comprises a series of orally available small molecules which are very effective in preventing arthritis in disease models. The compounds act via a novel and unique target within the cell to prevent the inflammation and bone damage associated with rheumatoid arthritis. Under the terms of Modern Biosciences agreement with the two universities, Modern Biosciences will fund and manage the development programme and share commercialisation revenues with the universities.

About Modern Biosciences

Modern Biosciences is a drug development company which sources late-stage discovery projects from academia and start-up companies, conducts early proof-of-principle clinical studies and out-licenses the resulting programmes to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. For more information, please visit www.modernbiosciences.com.

About IP Group

IP Group plc (“the Group”) is a leading UK intellectual property (“IP”) commercialisation company, developing technology innovations primarily from its research-intensive partner universities. The Group offers more than traditional venture capital, providing its companies with access to business-building expertise, networks, recruitment and business support.

About the Technology Strategy Board

The Technology Strategy Board is the UK’s innovation agency.  Its goal is to accelerate economic growth by stimulating and supporting business-led innovation.  Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit www.innovateuk.org.

About the Biomedical Catalyst

The Biomedical Catalyst, announced by Prime Minister David Cameron in December 2011, is a programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK. The programme is open to UK academics and SMEs and seeks to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area. For further information please visit: http://www.innovateuk.org/content/competition/biomedical-catalyst.ashx

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