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Findings Published in Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics Demonstrate Potential for Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.'s LPA1 Receptor Antagonist as an Anti-Fibrotic Agent


1/5/2011 9:13:32 AM

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the publication of its findings in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET) which describes the biologic effects and the characterization of AM095, a lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor 1 antagonist, in various in vitro and in vivo models of fibrotic disease.

"Activation of the LPA1 receptor by LPA has been implicated in a number of disease processes, including tissue fibrosis," said James Swaney, Ph.D., Director of Biology at Amira Pharmaceuticals. "With this new data, Amira's orally available, proof-of-concept LPA1 receptor antagonists have now displayed efficacy in a wide range of fibrotic models including lung, skin, eye, liver and kidney."

Gretchen Bain, Ph.D., Executive Director of Biology at Amira Pharmaceuticals, added, "In addition to the work described in this paper, we have demonstrated that LPA promotes the transformation of fibroblasts to the pro-fibrotic (myofibroblast) state stimulating the production of collagen 1, a major component of fibrotic tissue. This process can be inhibited by an LPA1 selective antagonist. Furthermore, LPA signaling facilitates the fibroblast transformation independently of the pro-fibrotic molecule TGF-beta, which indicates the potential for additivity to anti- TGF-beta mechanisms."

Amira is currently sponsoring Phase I clinical studies of AM152, an orally available LPA1 receptor antagonist.

About Amira

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Diego, Amira Pharmaceuticals is a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of new drugs to treat inflammatory disease. Our discovery team is building on unparalleled insights into bioactive lipid pathways and complex signaling processes controlling many conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, fibrotic diseases and cancer. Amira combines the rigor of a big pharmaceutical company with the ingenuity and energy of a small company, creating an environment for efficient development of novel compounds and effective pre-clinical and clinical program decisions. Amira has a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline for the development of FLAP (5-lipoxygenase activating protein) inhibitors in respiratory and cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit www.amirapharm.com.

SOURCE Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


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