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Oxford licenses anti-inflammatory peptides to San Francisco Bay Area start-up

PORTOLA VALLEY, Calif., July 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Rogne Bioscience, a privately-held biotechnology company based in San Francisco Bay Area, has acquired a licence to anti-inflammatory peptides from Isis Innovation, the University of Oxford's commercialisation company. The potent anti-inflammatory activity of the peptides was discovered by Professor David Greaves at the University of Oxford's Sir William Dunn School of Pathology.

The company, which has raised over $1.5 million in seed financing, is developing a first-in-class, topical biologic to address the unmet need for a safe, effective, non-steroidal treatment for patients with mild to moderate psoriasis.

Tom Gadek, CEO of Rogne, said: "In Rogne's feasibility studies, we have been able to verify the anti-inflammatory activity of the peptide that was first published by Professor Greaves' lab. We have also demonstrated that the peptide can be formulated to penetrate human skin and, when applied topically, inhibits dermal inflammation in a dose-dependent manner in mice. We plan to complete a clinical proof of concept study to demonstrate activity in psoriasis patients."

Professor Greaves said: "Because the peptide will be applied to the skin, we expect to avoid the side-effects which trouble patients who use current injected or oral psoriasis drugs.

"Our peptide is also derived from a protein which is produced naturally by the human body and appears to play a role as the body's own off-switch for inflammation. 

"It's been really great that Isis Innovation have worked with us over the last five years to ensure that these important early steps in reaching the potential of this discovery have happened. We are also delighted to be working with Rogne Bioscience."

Rogne's Chief Medical Officer, Karl Beutner, MD said: "All the biologic drugs that we currently use for treating conditions such as psoriasis work by dampening down inflammation all over the body, not just in the skin where the disease occurs. As a result they all have general immunosuppressive side-effects such as increases in number and severity of infections."

The peptides are derived from the plasma protein chemerin and work by reducing the production of inflammatory signaling proteins called cytokines which play a central role in the body's response to infection and injury. They are also implicated in the excessive immune responses underlying inflammatory diseases. The peptides inhibit activated antigen presenting cells by reducing the production of inflammatory cytokines including IL-12/23, TNFalpha, RANTES, IL-6 and IL-1beta.

Isis has granted Rogne an exclusive, world-wide licence to the associated patents.

The initial work in Professor Greaves' lab investigating inflammation was funded by the British Heart Foundation in the context of possible novel anti-inflammatory treatments for cardiovascular disease.  Professor Jeremy Pearson, Associate Medical Director at the Foundation, said: "We are delighted that the research we funded has now led to a potential new anti-inflammatory treatment for psoriasis."

Media enquiries:
Renate Krelle
Isis Innovation Ltd
T: +44(0)1865280867

Lena Wu
Rogne Bioscience, Inc.

About Isis Innovation

Isis Innovation is the research and technology commercialisation company of the University of Oxford. We provide access to technology from Oxford researchers through intellectual property licensing, spin-out company formation and material sales, and to academic expertise through Oxford University Consulting.

Isis is the highest university patent filer in the UK and is ranked 1st in the UK for university spin-outs, having created more than 100 new companies in 25 years. In the last financial year we completed 395 licenses and consulting agreements with clients in 21 countries. The Isis Enterprise innovation management consultancy works with university, government and industrial clients from offices around the world.

For updates on innovations from Oxford, follow Isis on LinkedIn and Twitter or subscribe at

About Rogne Bioscience

Rogne Bioscience is an early stage, San Francisco Bay area-based biotechnology company focused on bringing forward novel biological treatments for inflammatory diseases. Its first clinical program will target psoriasis. For more information, please visit

About the British Heart Foundation

The British Heart Foundation is a publicly funded research charity that supports over 50% of the UK's academic cardiovascular research.

PR 137/1

SOURCE Rogne Bioscience, Inc.; Isis Innovation Ltd
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