Opexa Therapeutics’ MS Therapy Selected as ‘Top Project to Watch’

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by Patricia Silva, PhD |

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Opexa Therapeutics, Inc., announced that it has been named one of the “Top Projects to Watch” for the third consecutive year. A panel of independent experts recognized the biopharmaceutical company for its work in the development of personalized immunotherapies for autoimmune disorders, such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and neuromyelitis optica (NMO).

Opexa was among eight companies whose efforts in six therapeutic areas were selected as top projects, out of hundreds of compounds considered by the panel for their potential as products. The selection was announced at the recent Therapeutic Area Partnerships meeting in Boston, where Opexa’s President and CEO Neil K. Warma presented an overview of his company.

“Selected companies…  represent what our committees consider among the most attractive opportunities the industry has to offer,” Marc Wortman, Editorial Director at Therapeutic Area Partnerships, said in a press release. “Winners have met rigorous criteria, including: unmet medical need, market potential, diversity of indications, strong science, multi-level partnering opportunities (biotech and pharma), potential for new opportunities beyond initial indications and corporate stability. As the industry leader in strategic analysis and transaction tracking, our main goal is to give these companies exposure to potential investors, partners, and acquirers.”

Added Mr. Warma, “We are pleased to be selected for the third year as one of the Top Projects to Watch. We believe this recognition speaks to the potential of our novel personalized T-cell immunotherapy platform to address autoimmune diseases with significant unmet medical needs.”

According to Therapeutic Area Partnerships, many of the selected companies go on to form major partnerships to advance their work, such as Trius, Optimer, QRxPharma, Pearl Therapeutics, Vectura, AVEO, Trophos, and BiPar “just to name a few.”

Opexa Therapeutics’ leading candidate is Tcelna®, a personalized T-cell immunotherapy for treating secondary progressive MS that is now in Phase 2b clinical development (the Abili-T trial). Tcelna consists of myelin-reactive T-cells expanded ex vivo from a patient’s own peripheral blood and then re-introduced in a weakened form through subcutaneous injections. The process is thought to activate a strong immune response against specific subsets of autoreactive T-cells known to damage myelin in MS patients.

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