HONOLULU, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Cardax Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Cardax" or the "Company"), a privately held drug discovery and development Company, announced today that it has entered into a Joint Development and Supply Agreement with BASF Aktiengesellschaft ("BASF"), Ludwigshafen, Germany. The agreement calls for BASF to exclusively manufacture a specialized form of astaxanthin, a key intermediate used to make Company's novel, proprietary lead pharmaceutical compound Xancor(TM) for cardiovascular inflammatory disease. BASF will produce this material according to cGMP standards and in sufficient quantity for pre-clinical, clinical, and eventual commercial use.
Also as part of the agreement, Cardax has granted BASF an option to a royalty-bearing license for nutraceutical use of the specialized form of astaxanthin. All pharmaceutical applications of Xancor(TM) remain the property of Cardax.
"BASF is the ideal partner for us as we move into clinical development of our novel lead compound," said David G. Watumull, President and CEO of Cardax Pharmaceuticals. "Securing a large scale source of cGMP manufacturing for pre- clinical, clinical, and eventually commercial supply of this key Xancor(TM) intermediate is a major milestone for the Company. Also, BASF's interest in the nutraceutical use of our astaxanthin technology brings us a possible source of revenue unrelated to our pharmaceutical programs."
The Company plans to develop Xancor(TM) first for cardiovascular inflammation. "Cardiovascular inflammation represents the third great wave of opportunity in cardiovascular disease," stated Fredric J. Pashkow, MD, the Company's Chief Medical Officer and EVP. "The first wave, the statins, lower LDL cholesterol. The second wave, the anti-platelet therapies such as aspirin and Plavix, help thin the blood. But, many cardiovascular patients remain at risk because of cardiovascular inflammation. Our novel, proprietary drug Xancor(TM) is specifically designed to target the source of this major unmet medical need." Previously, Dr. Pashkow headed U.S. Medical Affairs for cardiovascular drugs with more than $6 billion in sales at Sanofi-Aventis.
The active pharmaceutical ingredient of Xancor(TM) is a novel proprietary derivative of astaxanthin that improves solubility and bioavailability compared to both the astaxanthin parent and to an earlier generation astaxanthin derivative, Cardax(TM). Xancor(TM) is believed to metabolize into astaxanthin in the body. Cardax(TM) demonstrated statistically significant efficacy in published animal models of myocardial infarction and hepatitis inflammation.
Astaxanthin from both synthetic and natural sources has an outstanding safety profile. Synthetic astaxanthin has been approved by the FDA as an animal feed additive and natural forms of astaxanthin have been approved by the FDA as a dietary supplement. Astaxanthin is one of the most potent anti- oxidants found in nature and along with other carotenoids neutralizes oxygen and nitrogen free radicals. Excessive amounts of these "free radicals" can cause physiological damage and are linked to numerous human diseases including those of the arteries and heart, immune system, cancers, macular degeneration, and hepatitis. Excessive free radical production can occur as a result of: exposure to sunlight, pollution, and cigarette smoking; accelerated aging processes; increased metabolism due to physical exercise.
Additional scientific information can be found at the Company's website at www.cardaxpharma.com.
About Cardax Pharmaceuticals
Cardax Pharmaceuticals is a drug discovery and development company targeting large unmet medical needs where inflammation plays a crucial and often newly defined pivotal role. The Company's first product targets cardiovascular disease. Cardax Pharmaceuticals was spun out from Hawaii Biotech in May 2006.
David G. Watumull
Cardax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
President and CEO
Phone: (808) 457-1375
Cardax Pharmaceuticals, Inc.