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Press release issued: 1 March 2001

Aegis Pharmaceuticals merges with Hunter-Fleming Ltd

Early trials for the treatment of diabetes and allergic rhinitis have been boosted with the announcement that Aegis Pharmaceuticals, a Bristol University spin-out company, has merged with the pharmaceutical development company, Hunter-Fleming Ltd.

Aegis's merger with Hunter-Fleming offers the financial framework to rapidly move a bacterial protein developed by Bristol academics Dr Neil Williams and Professor Tim Hirst called EtxB into clinical trials.

EtxB is able to control the development and character of the immune response. It leads to the suppression of white blood cells that cause damage to tissues and joints. The protein can correct disorders of the immune system such as Type I diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and allergic rhinitis. It can also be used for improving the effectiveness of vaccines used to combat bacterial and viral infections.

Tim Hirst, Professor of Microbiology, commenting on the merger, said: 'This merger is excellent news for the University. It justifies the confidence and support that it has shown in our research. Importantly it will allow the early testing of novel therapies for preventing and treating some of the most intractable and debilitating of human diseases.'

Dr Jim Murray, Chief Executive Officer of Hunter-Fleming Ltd, added: 'This brings an important second pillar to the central nervous system research programme of Hunter-Fleming and it greatly enhances the potential for growth of the company. We see this as a very exciting development.'

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Copyright: 2001 The University of Bristol, UK
Updated: Thursday, 01-Mar-2001 17:38:49 GMT

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