Provexis commits to CV and immunity research

By Shane Starling

- Last updated on GMT

Provexis commits to CV and immunity research

Related tags: Platelet, Provexis

Biotech start-up Provexis says it will commence two clinical trials in 2011 – one in the area of cardiovascular inflammation, the other in treatment of “hospital superbug” c.difficile.

Announcing the commitment at its 2010 annual general meeting, non-executive chairman Dawson Buck, said the research goal was one of three the tomato extract specialist and biotech developer was in line to meet.

"I set out three objectives for the Company at the AGM last year: to secure our health claim for Fruitflow from the European Commission; to deliver our first commercial deal for Fruitflow; and to commence the clinical trial for our Crohn's disease technology,”​ he said.

“I am pleased to say that the management team has delivered all of these objectives, giving us a solid platform for the coming year.”

Provexis is so far the only company to win a positive article 13.5 health claim opinion from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). It linked the Fruitflow tomato extract’s ability to reduce blood platelet aggregation a claim that was recently extended to include food supplements as well as some foods and beverages.

The company said its partner DSM had completed trials for a non-specified product employing Fruitflow that was set for commercialization in the next 12 months.

“The marketing strategy is now being finalised and the technology will feature at some major trade exhibitions later in 2010,”​ Buck said, noting DSM had begun discussions with “major brand owners”.

The trials

The reduction of cardiovascular inflammation trial were being undertaken with the Institute of Food Research (IFR) and its technology transfer company, Plant Bioscience Limited (PBL), which Provexis signed a collaboration agreement with in April this year.

The c.difficile ​research is a project with the University of Liverpool.

The company was also taking its existing research into blood platelet aggregation (specifically Crohn’s disease) into new areas it expected to be completed next year.

It said it acquisition was a possibility to develop existing and new technologies.

The company has £6.4m (€7.74m) in cash reserves and its shares were trading this morning at £03.34p (€04.04). Provexis shares peaked at almost £0.16 (€0.1847) in August 2009, a level fed by Provexis​ winning its article 13.5 emerging and proprietary science health claim for its Fruitflow, blood circulation-benefitting tomato extract.

Fruitflow, which is used in a juice called Sirco in the UK, works by inhibiting clumping of blood platelets, and is aimed at healthy adults between the ages of 35 and 70, who are disposed to cardiovascular disease.

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