LONDON -- Peptide Therapeutics Ltd. (PTL) announced that ithas completed a "significant" first major round of funding,organized by Prelude Technology Investment and ATMInvestment.

Financial details were not disclosed.

PTL was set up by a biotechnology research team from theRheumatoid and Allergy Research Unit at BirminghamUniversity led by Denis Stanworth, the company's chiefscientific director. PTL's business offices are in Cambridge,England, a major center for the United Kingdom's growingbiotechnology industry. The company's principal laboratoriesare at the Aston Science Park in Birmingham.

PTL, which hopes to increase its staff to 17 by the beginning of1994, will focus on identifying and developing peptide-basedproducts "to satisfy unmet medical needs in major diseases."The medical conditions under consideration are asthma,allergies and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as some forms ofcancer and other immunopathological diseases.

PTL said it has already entered into its first collaboration witha major international company to develop its own proprietaryallergy vaccine technology. Since its incorporation at the end of1992, PTL has filed what it believes to be a major patent on ablocking peptide for the treatment of allergy and asthma.Daniel Roach, the company's commercial director, said the newcompound, which has yet to enter clinical trials, is between 10and 100 times more effective than existing asthma drugs.

PTL is negotiating for the right to exploit work that Stanworth'steam had completed and patented while at BirminghamUniversity. According to Roach, the company will be involvedin diagnostics and screening techniques, as well as thedevelopment of new therapeutic compounds.

Among other earlier work, Stanworth's group developed a testfor rheumatoid arthritis based on the use of monoclonalantibodies. British Technology Group has taken up a license forthis work. PTL is also working on peptides for the treatment ofspecific gut and kidney diseases and certain forms of cancer. Inpeptide technology, PTL claims that it is "poised to capitalize onsome of the largest global pharmaceutical markets available."

-- Michael Kenward Special to BioWorld

(c) 1997 American Health Consultants. All rights reserved.