Beech Tree Labs' Data Points Toward Potential TB Treatment

Release Date: 
September 13, 2011

Providence, RI--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Beech Tree Labs, Inc. announced today publication of data providing evidence that its novel product candidate addressing scarring and wound healing showed efficacy in a Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) animal model.

Based on substantial pre-clinical data demonstrating BTL-slo's efficacy to prevent and modulate scarring and wound healing, Beech Tree co-sponsored a blinded and controlled clinical study at the University of Kentucky (UK) to determine its effect as an adjunct to antibiotics in addressing Rhodococcus equi (R. equi) pneumonia in foals. Treatment of this disorder is a recognized model for treating tuberculosis in humans as the pathophysiology of R. equi infection is similar to that of TB.

R. equi infection in the lungs of foals causes granulomas to form in a manner similar to those occurring with TB. As a defensive measure, the body responds in both diseases by forming a fibrotic wall around these granulomas in an attempt to limit the spread of infection. However, this walling off activity allows viable bacteria to survive within these granulomas as they are protected from antibiotics.

The results of the UK study were recently published in Veterinary Microbiology and showed a statistically significant improvement in clinical scores and reduction in pneumonia in those animals treated with BTL-slo in conjunction with antibiotics versus those receiving antibiotics alone. No adverse effects were reported.

One of the challenges in treating TB is the extended period of time required to clear infection. The use of BTL-slo may lead to a reduction in duration of treatment by eliminating the barrier that prevents bacteria from being exposed to antibiotics.
Results from this R. equi study justify further clinical efforts targeting TB, and Beech Tree is actively working to move this research forward.

Beech Tree Labs is a privately held biopharmaceutical company, a leader in novel molecular signaling technology with an extensive patent portfolio that includes other potential therapeutics targeting a broad spectrum of chronic disorders. The Company specializes in discovery and early-stage development through Phase 2 clinical trials and out-licenses to larger pharmaceutical and biotech firms for continued evaluation and marketing. Beech Tree is currently conducting FDA Phase 1/2 clinical trials for recurrent oral herpes and urinary incontinence.

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