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IP Group plc Portfolio company Istesso announces positive outcome from Phase 2a study

IP Group plc (LON:IPO), the developer of intellectual property-based businesses, has today noted that portfolio company Istesso Limited has announced positive headline results from its Phase 2a study of its investigational drug, MBS2320, for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

The study was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial for which the primary objective was to assess the safety and tolerability of MBS2320 over 12 weeks of treatment in patients receiving background methotrexate therapy. This primary objective was met, with MBS2320 being generally well-tolerated with no drug-related serious adverse events.

Amongst secondary objectives, there was evidence of clinical benefit as assessed by the American College of Rheumatology 20% response and Disease Activity Score. Evidence of benefit was also seen in exploratory endpoints of responder criteria, MRI imaging and the acute-phase reactant, C-reactive protein.

IP Group holds a direct undiluted beneficial stake of 56.4% in Istesso and is currently reviewing the carrying value of this asset as part of its half-year results process.

Alan Aubrey, Chief Executive Officer of IP Group, said: “This is a significant milestone for Istesso. It is also a great example of IP Group’s approach of providing long-term support to early-stage therapeutics companies while maintaining a very significant shareholding. Istesso is focussed on the rapidly emerging field of immunometabolism and has a pipeline of assets that work by reprogramming metabolism to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions.”

The Phase 2a study was a 12-week randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multi-centre trial assessing the safety, tolerability and efficacy of MBS2320. MBS2320 is a first-in-class metabolic reprogramming agent for the treatment of RA and is distinguished from existing treatments by its dual mode-of-action that not only reduces inflammation, thereby preventing the progression of disease, but may also promote bone and joint remodelling.

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