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I'm new to this Board and to BioTech. I was given an article by a Belgian friend that I thought was interesting.Wondering whether any of you had any information about ActoGeniX or the approach they are using.
He got this info from BioTech Investor
foolishmorton

Company profile

ActoGeniX was founded in June 2006, as a spin-off from VIB and Ghent University, to exploit its proprietary TopAct™ platform for oral administration of biopharmaceuticals. The Company is developing a broad and diverse portfolio of novel therapeutic products addressing major diseases with high unmet medical need, including gastrointestinal diseases, auto-immunity, allergy and metabolic diseases. ActoGeniX' initial focus is on inflammatory bowel diseases and its lead product has already been successfully tested in a clinical trial with Crohn's disease patients.

TopAct™ is a delivery system based on living non-pathogenic micro-organisms for the oral administration of therapeutic proteins and peptides. TopAct™ represents a paradigm shift in the delivery of biological drugs. During the past two decades biopharmaceuticals have emerged as a major and fast-growing segment in the pharmaceutical industry. High specificity and low inherent toxicity are major advantages of protein- or peptide-based therapeutics. However, the injection of relatively large doses of therapeutic proteins in patients results in systemic exposure that often leads to significant and unwanted side effects. Based on its TopAct™ technology for local and topical delivery of therapeutics in the gut, ActoGeniX is developing a novel class of biopharmaceuticals with enhanced efficacy and a reduced side-effect profile. This represents a significant competitive advantage in today's pharmaceutical market where safety and the absence of adverse effects have become major considerations for the development of new therapies. Also, because TopAct™ based products are formulated for oral administration, they are expected to have greater patient acceptance and reduced cost.

R&D Strategy
The human gastrointestinal (GI) system is a large and complex organ, integrating multiple physiological processes, ranging from food intake to regulation of immunity, energy balance and metabolism. Hence the GI system is an attractive target organ for delivery of biological drugs that can interfere with these crucial processes to alleviate or cure a variety of important diseases. However, because of stability and delivery issues, direct delivery of protein- or peptide-based therapeutics to the gut is a difficult challenge. The TopAct™ technology of ActoGeniX has been shown to provide an elegant solution to this problem by delivering active biologicals locally in the GI tract, leading to a direct and efficient effect on target receptors present in the gut.

TopAct™ can address a broad range of important diseases. During the past few years, the founding research team of ActoGeniX, whilst still at VIB, has already obtained proof-of-concept with TopAct™ based products in a variety of animal models for diseases. Positive efficacy data were generated in models of inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal mucositis, food allergy and obesity. Also, a phase 1 clinical trial with TopAct™IL-10 in Crohn´s disease patients showed good tolerability and safety. Most importantly this study also provided an indication for clinical efficacy.

Since its inception ActoGeniX has launched a significant R&D effort to confirm clinical efficacy of its TopAct™ products in Crohn´s disease, ulcerative colitis and intestinal mucositis. Additionally the Company will further explore the efficacy of TopAct™ based therapies in pre-clinical models and subsequently in clinical trials of various auto-immune diseases, allergies, and metabolic diseases, either in-house or in collaboration with corporate partners.




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Very interesting article! Certainly, anything oral is going to catch on more quickly than things that must be inserted, injected, ihnaled, or rolled in.

I do wonder 2 things about their platform, though:

1. People are weird about germs, whether or not they are supposed to be pathogenic, as evidenced by the fact that you can buy so many antiseptic products, even baby toys that have a "germ resistant surface." I wonder if the general public would balk at deliberately bringing in extra bugs, however carefully they were marketed.

2. In this day and age, people get antibiotics when they have a cold, even though they won't help a viral illness, and call for antibiotics if they even think they MIGHT be getting a urinary infection, or visited their neighbor who later came down with a bug. Given that this is the case, it seems as if it will be tricky to come up with a biologic agent that is not going to be wiped out by common antibiotics that still can be controlled if the need arises, as folks are going to be reluctant to take in something that is resistant to antibiotics.
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1. People are weird about germs, whether or not they are supposed to be pathogenic, as evidenced by the fact that you can buy so many antiseptic products, even baby toys that have a "germ resistant surface." I wonder if the general public would balk at deliberately bringing in extra bugs, however carefully they were marketed.

Certainly don't see that being a problem in Europe, where you get probiotic yogurts being heavily promoted on the back of their 'friendly bacteria' and are even being promoted as direct therapies for things like colitis (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/3582902.stm)

2. In this day and age, people get antibiotics when they have a cold,

Err - which Third World countries does that still happen in? Certainly in Europe these days you only get antibiotics if you've got pus oozing from somewhere, but I know some countries are still so dumb that they actually still allow the use of routine antibiotics as 'growth promoters' in meat production - to be honest such countries deserve everything they get.

Given that this is the case, it seems as if it will be tricky to come up with a biologic agent that is not going to be wiped out by common antibiotics that still can be controlled if the need arises, as folks are going to be reluctant to take in something that is resistant to antibiotics.

I don't see a real problem - it's just going to be another drug itnereaction. Given that you only take relatively short courses of antibiotics then I don't see a problem with switching to another drug or drug delivery method for the duration - like you go for injectable peptide rather than the bug pill whilst you're on the antibiotics. Or of course since the bugs are in your gut, you shouldn't have too much trouble with antibiotics that are injected or applied topically.

There's a lot of cool peptide delivery methods kicking around at the moment, they won't all work, but there's lots about.
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Thanks Hallucigenia and oncqueen. I appreciate the comments. I'll keep watching ActoGeniX.
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2. In this day and age, people get antibiotics when they have a cold,

Err - which Third World countries does that still happen in? Certainly in Europe these days you only get antibiotics if you've got pus oozing from somewhere,


I doubt that 3rd world countries do these things, as the antibiotics are costly to them and are ineffective.

However, doctors in the US, or at least where i live, in CA, prescribe antibiotics like candy on Halloween.

but I know some countries are still so dumb that they actually still allow the use of routine antibiotics as 'growth promoters' in meat production - to be honest such countries deserve everything they get.

Well, that's still done on most "factory farms" in the US. Unfortunately, it's likely to continue because it does work and the farm lobby would have fits if antibiotics were regulated. And, of course, no one is concerned for the chicken or pig's long-term health!
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Although I don't disagree with your overall statements, I know for a fact that many in Mexico & Central America have been given antibiotics as common practice for "what ever ails".

As to animal farming, it IS a huge problem & not being addressed properly.
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...I know for a fact that many in Mexico & Central America have been given antibiotics as common practice for "what ever ails"...

And without the need of a prescription.

TB
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