Oklahoma City-based Selexys Pharmaceutics made big news this morning when it announced that it had completed Phase I clinical trials for a drug therapy it is developing to treat sickle cell disease. That’s a huge milestone on the road to FDA approval and commercialization for an important drug for a disease that afflicts an estimated 100,000 Americans and millions more around the world.
The promise of the Selexys drug has attracted some major financial backing along the way, including $3.2 million in SBIR funding by the National Heart, Lung and Blood institute. Selexys also has almost $2 million in funding from the Oklahoma EDGE — Economic Development Generating Excellence — program.
Only five in 5,000 of the compounds that enter the FDA’s preclinical testing phase ever make it to Phase I human testing. Selexys has beaten those odds with a drug it calls SelG1.
In a news release it issued about the completion of the trial, Dr. Scott Rollins, Selexys President and CEO said: “This Phase I study represents a major step in understanding the potential of SelG1 to address the unmet medical need in sickle cell disease and other indications. This trial completion marks a key milestone for Selexys as we prepare to initiate a large Phase II efficacy study of this novel compound in patients with sickle cell disease.”
Now we can look forward to watching as the Selexys drug continues to make its way down the drug development path of Phase 2 and Phase 3 trials and eventually provides an effective treatment for those who suffer from this disease.
Selexys also is advancing another drug that treats Crohn’s Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that afflicts millions of people worldwide.