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Can-Fite reports success in eye inflammation preclinical trial

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Monday, May 7th, 2012

As reported in Globes:

Can-Fite BioPharma Ltd. (TASE:CFBI) US subsidiary OpththaliX Inc. (Bulletin Board: OPLI), which handles the company’s ophthalmic drug development operations, today announced success in the preclinical trial of CF101 for the treatment of anterior uveitis, an inflammation of the uvea, the middle layer of the eye which can result in blindness. The trial found that the drug was effective.

An earlier trial found that CF101 is effective in treating posterior uveitis. Anterior uveitis is the inflammation of the iris alone (iritis) or the iris and ciliary body, and posterior uveitis is inflammation in the retina and/or choroid. Uveitis is the fifth or sixth leading cause of blindness in the US.

Can-Fite said that since the US market exceeds 200,000 patients, CF101 does not fall within the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) definition of an orphan drug.

Can-Fite CEO and OphthaliX interim CEO and Chairman Prof. Pnina Fishman said, “The successful preclinical study provides additional proof for the efficacy of CF101 in uveitis and paves the way for a larger patient population to be treated with the drug upon successful clinical development. This will also be reflected in a larger potential market for CF101. We are currently conducting all the preparatory work for a Phase II study in Uveitis, in addition to the ongoing studies in dry eye syndrome and glaucoma. Although anterior uveitis is most often treated with topical medication, the excellent safety profile of CF101 suggests it could have a very favorable therapeutic index as a novel oral therapy in this disease.”

CF101 is a small biological molecule, administered orally for the treatment of eye diseases. The company is currently undergoing a Phase III clinical trial for the treatment of dry-eye syndrome, a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of glaucoma, and preclinical trials for the treatment of uveits. It is also undergoing Phase IIb clinical trial for the treatment rheumatoid arthritis and a Phase II/III trial for the treatment of psoriasis.

OphthaliX’s share price closed at $3.29 on Wall Street on Thursday, and Can-Fite’s share price rose 1.6% in morning trading today to NIS 0.39, giving a market cap of NIS 100 million.