VASTox plc - Prepares to commence next phase of clinical development for two leading neuro-disorder drug programmes

23 May 2007

VASTox plc (AIM: VOX), a leading UK biotechnology company, announces that the Company is preparing to commence the next set of clinical trials in its two leading neuro-disorder programmes, which target two symptoms of Parkinson's disease.

This development follows positive results from initial Phase I studies of the small molecule drug candidates, which show them not only to be safe but also to significantly suppress saliva and sebum production, the causes of two distressing symptoms in Parkinson's disease, sialorrhoea (drooling) and seborrhoea (greasy skin) respectively. The results from the sebum study were so pronounced, with a reduction in sebum production of 70%, that it has led VASTox to investigate this clinical candidate as a potential treatment in the multi-billion dollar acne market.

Both programmes were previously owned by DanioLabs, which was acquired by VASTox in March 2007, and the progression of these clinical programmes follows a successful period of integration into the scientific and commercial infrastructure of the enlarged Company.

The two programmes were developed using the Company's expertise in drug reprofiling, which is based on combining clinical observations with the results of screening drugs through zebrafish disease models.  In these two programmes, this reprofiling approach has found two new indications for established drugs with a history of safe use but it is equally valid for drugs that have failed to reach the market due to low efficacy against their original indications.

In the seborrhoea programme, recruitment for the next Phase I clinical trial is underway and VASTox expects to begin this in mid 2007.  In sialorrhoea, a combined Phase I/II clinical trial in patients will commence in the fourth quarter of 2007.

Steven Lee, PhD, CEO of VASTox, commented: "The deal to acquire DanioLabs earlier this year provided VASTox with a broader drug pipeline, which includes candidates at the clinical and preclinical stages of development, as well as a strong and growing patent estate to protect these drug programmes in key markets. These two lead Phase I programmes have now been fully integrated into the enlarged Company and work to continue the next phase of development in conjunction with strong commercial activity is underway."

For more information please contact:


Steven Lee, PhD, Chief Executive Officer               Tel: +44 (0)1235 443951
Darren Millington, ACMA, Chief Financial Officer

Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Mark Swallow / David Dible / Valerie Auffray           Tel: +44 (0)207 638 9571

Evolution Securities
Neil Eliott / Tim Worlledge                            Tel: +44 (0)207 7071 4300

About VASTox plc

VASTox is a leading UK biotechnology company that discovers and develops proprietary new drugs. The Company's internal drug development programmes are underpinned by its advanced chemistry and drug screening (chemical genomics) technology platforms, which it also provides on a collaborative or fee-for-service basis to the pharmaceutical industry.

VASTox has a broad range of drug discovery programmes in the clinical, pre-clinical and discovery stages of development, which target serious diseases with a high unmet medical need. These therapeutic areas include neuro-disorders (neurodegenerative and neuromuscular), anti-infectives, ophthalmic diseases, oncology and regenerative medicines.

VASTox's in-house drug development capabilities combine world-class expertise in both medicinal and carbohydrate chemistry with high-volume, high-content screening using its proprietary zebrafish and fruitfly technologies (chemical genomics). These whole organism screens have the potential to dramatically decrease the time and cost of drug discovery and development by delivering data that are highly predictive of the efficacy and toxicity of potential drug compounds in humans.

The company listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange in October 2004 - symbol: VOX

Further information about the company is available at