[TB news]TB Immunotherapy Collaboration Agreement With Stirling Products and Zod
VANCOUVER, British Columbia, May 30, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Immune Network Ltd. (Pink Sheets:IMMFF) advises that it has entered into a conditional agreement with Australian-based Stirling Products Limited (ASX:STI) and Zodiac Capital Limited (NSX:ZOD) (the Australian partners) with regard to an improved formulation of Immunoxel/Dzherelo recently developed and clinically tested by the Company.
The new sublingual tablet formulation has already demonstrated potential for improved effectiveness. Importantly, the decreased cost of production, improved stability and ease of use of the new Immunoxel/Dzherelo formulation is likely to improve the accessibility and availability of the product for TB patients.
Under the terms of the Agreement, the Company and its Australian partners will continue with their respective R&D work. Stirling Products will continue with its plans for a Co-operative Research Agreement with the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) while the Company will produce batches of the new product and continue clinical demonstration trials. The Agreement is conditional upon the Company becoming current in its statutory filings, following which the Company will issue 20 million shares to its Australian partners for the non-exclusive marketing rights to ImmunoXel. Further, the Company's Australian partners will subscribe to 5 million Immune shares at US$0.02 per share with such subscription to be satisfied by the issue of shares in the Australian partner public companies Stirling Products and Zodiac Capital at current market prices.
Immunoxel/Dzherelo is a multi-herbal extract product that has been shown in a dozen clinical trials, published in peer-reviewed journals, to be surprisingly effective as an adjuvant immunotherapy in treatment of TB patients, including patients with multi-drug resistant (MDR-TB) and extensively drug resistant TB (XDR-TB), and TB patients who are co-infected with HIV. The new sub-lingual lozenge formulation is optimized for potency, stability, low cost, and patient compliance. Positive clinical data for Dzherelo lozenges has been presented at two conferences so far this year: clinical evidence suggests approximately 90% of patients supplementing standard TB treatment with such sublingual tablets are cured (sputum clearance of TB) within one month.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that globally, about one-third of the world's population is infected with the Mycobacterium tuberculosis bacteria that cause TB, and each year approximately 9 million people become ill with the disease and 2 million die from it. TB patients with HIV are 30 times more likely to die and treatment options for them are limited. A 2009 WHO annual report on TB indicated that one in four TB deaths is HIV-related, twice as many as had been recognized previously. In addition about half a million people had MDR-TB in 2007. But due to lack of adequate treatment, which can be costly and complicated, only about 1 percent of such individuals are treated. The introduction of immunotherapy interventions such as Immunoxel/Dzherelo has the potential to reverse the crisis situation in current TB management, especially with respect to MDR-TB and XDR-TB.