|ImmuneRegen (OTCBB: IRBS) gaining attention for its stem cell active compound|
|By Staff and Wire Reports|
|Tuesday, 26 January 2010 12:23|
Not long ago, shortly after he started his company, CEO Michael Wilhelm was scrambling to find a name for his biotech focused, wholly owned subsidiary of IR Biosciences Holdings Inc. (OTCBB: IRBS).
"When we started the company, I asked the doctor (who first stumbled upon the discovery of the compound), Explains Wilhelm. 'What do you think the drug does?'"
“I think it does something with the immune system," he said. “It must, because anytime there is a compromised animal, that’s exposed to JP-8 jet fuel (radiation) and exposed to Influenza we seem to rev it up.”
Wilhelm decided on the name ImmuneRegen – Immune Regeneration- and it turned out to be a great thing after now identifying the mechanisms of the compound. "We were on the money. We modulate the immune system and we can tell you how you how we do that using Dendritic cell honing and things of that nature."
ImmuneRegen is a young company, but unlike most newer biotechs of this size and experience in the market, its research seems to be gathering quite a bit of attention from places like the NIH, the National Cancer Institute and many others.
They have forged relationships with investigators at the University of Rochester and the University of Pittsburgh. With the support of those investigators, they have already received $750,000 in grants for research of their compound and have multiple grant submissions in to the NIH and BARDA (Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority) , as well as through the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology and Walter Reed Army Medical Center through their Combat Wound Initiative Program.
NIH-funded studies in areas related to Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis, where the Company has filed its first IND (Investigational New Drug application) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), are being pursued at the University of Rochester.
It is rumored that millions in research grant money, are close to being announced from multiple sources.
At first glance, their pipeline appears to cover multiple areas and generally speaking, experienced and institutional investors don't particularly like that. They like to see focus into the development of a particular drug or two.
In ImmuneRegen's case, the mechanisms underlying the demonstrated immunostimulatory activity of its development candidate Homspera® are the focus. It just so happens that Homspera® has several broad reaching applications.
Homspera® is an adult stem cell active compound that in study results has been shown to regenerate and strengthen the immune system and enhance wound healing. Radilex® is the trade name associated with possible treatments for acute radiation exposure, while Viprovex® is being used for potential treatments in areas such as infectious disease, vaccine adjuvancy and chemical exposures. Both Radilex and Viprovex have the same active ingredient as Homspera. Celgene Cellular Therapeutics, HemoGenix, Lovelace Respiratory Research Institute and Virion Systems are also on board as partners at various levels of interest and activity.
"Trust me, three years ago we used to sit around the table and the people would say this sounds crazy," explains Wilhelm. "I mean we went to the head of the NIH who said 'This is amazing, it seems to work here and it seems to work there, it seems to work in all the areas we need it to work, but how does it work?' And we said, 'We don’t know.'
Disclosure: No Positions