Arctic Bioscience awarded grant for herring roe psoriasis treatment

The Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Government`s research policy advisor is funding the company to elucidate the mechanism of action for its drug candidate

Arctic Bioscience has received a grant of NOK 4.8m ($5.43m) for its development activities under the IPN-program (Innovasjonsprosjekter i Næringslivet) from The Research Council of Norway, the Norwegian Government`s research policy advisor working to promote innovation research-based innovation and knowledge-building.

The Innovation project grant was awarded to elucidate the mechanism of action for HRO350; the company’s investigational medicinal product to treat mild-to-moderate psoriasis. The drug is manufactured using sustainably sourced herring roe, the company says, according to cGMP using proprietary technology. The herring roe used is a residual side stream from herring fillet production.

Commenting on the award, CEO Ole Arne Eiksund said: "We very much appreciate Norwegian government' support for our innovative pharmaceutical development supporting our ambition to make life better for a large group of psoriasis patients in Norway and abroad. We also see the award as a confirmation of the Norwegian Government's efforts to support the growth and expansion of our life science ecosystem and are proud to be part of an industry with significant stakeholder value creation potential".

Mild-to-moderate psoriasis constitutes a large patient population with substantial requirement for treatments with beneficial safety profiles, Arctic says. Psoriasis prevalence rates range from 2% to 6% of the population in Western countries, and approximately 90% suffer from mild-to-moderate forms of the disease. This corresponds to around 21m psoriasis patients based in the USA and the EU alone and an annual revenue opportunity of more than $1bn, the company says. A large, randomised Phase IIb study is scheduled to start in 2022. The company plans to manufacture HRO350 at the company's facility in Ørsta.

The consortium for the Innovation project consists of Arctic Bioscience, local research institute Møreforskning and NOFIMA an institute for applied research within the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food research.

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