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ARCA Discovery Inc. Changes Name to ARCA biopharma to Reflect Focus on Drug Commercialization



3/28/2008 11:35:45 AM

DENVER, March 28 /PRNewswire/ -- ARCA Discovery, Inc., a privately held company, today announced that it has changed its name to ARCA biopharma, effective immediately. In support of the commercial transformation, ARCA has appointed Randall St. Laurent as executive vice president of commercial operations.

"As we move toward the completion of our new drug application submission for bucindolol, we feel 'ARCA biopharma' better reflects our biological heritage in genetic targeting and focus on commercialization of pharmaceutical products for cardiovascular patients," said Richard B. Brewer, president and chief executive officer of ARCA. "At the same time, we continue to emphasize our basic research programs in molecular genetics, which are the key to our successful drug development programs."

Mr. St. Laurent brings over 20 years of cardiovascular sales and marketing experience to ARCA. Over the past six years, most recently as vice president of commercial development at Scios, a Johnson & Johnson company, where Mr. St. Laurent played a pivotal role in the successful launch and commercialization of Natrecor, a recombinant form of BNP for acute heart failure. During his tenure at Scios he created and built a sales organization from the bottom up.

"At this critical juncture, we welcome Randy as an important addition to our team as we transition to a commercial organization. Randy's cardiovascular sales and marketing experience will be critical in bringing our lead product, bucindolol, to market, possibly as the first personalized cardiovascular medicine ever commercialized," added Mr. Brewer.

The company plans to file a New Drug Application (NDA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) within the next few months for its lead product candidate, bucindolol, for the treatment of chronic heart failure (HF) in patients with a specific genetic profile. ARCA plans to market bucindolol, for which it owns exclusive worldwide rights, in the U.S. through its own sales force.

Bucindolol is a next-generation beta-blocker and vasodilator that could become the first personalized, genetically-targeted cardiovascular therapy, based on substantial Phase 3 data showing that physicians could determine whether bucindolol is the right therapy for a patient with a simple genetic test.

Landmark research published in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences in 2006 demonstrated that bucindolol can reduce mortality in HF patients when used as a genetically-targeted treatment. More recently, the company presented data at last November's American Heart Association annual meeting, which showed that treatment with bucindolol also helped to prevent atrial fibrillation and life threatening ventricular arrhythmia.

ARCA developed bucindolol by leveraging its proprietary technology platform combining expertise in cardiovascular pathophysiology, molecular genetics and clinical development, in a unique approach that enables the efficient identification of pharmacogenetic targets. ARCA's earlier research identified pathways affecting bucindolol response that are modulated by common genetic variations.

About ARCA biopharma, Inc.

ARCA biopharma, Inc. is a privately-held company based in Denver, Colorado focused on developing and commercializing genetically-targeted therapies for heart failure and other cardiovascular diseases. The Company recently closed a Series B round of $18 million, led by new investors Skyline Ventures and InterWest Partners. ARCA completed a $15 million Series A round in 2006 led by Atlas Venture and Boulder Ventures, which also participated in the Series B round. For more information please visit http://www.arcabiopharma.com.

CONTACT: E. Blair Schoeb of WeissComm Partners, +1-760-365-1857,
bschoeb@wcpglobal.com, for ARCA Discovery, Inc.

Web site: http://www.arcabiopharma.com/


Read at BioSpace.com


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