SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - October 21, 2013) - La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company (OTCBB: LJPC) (the "Company" or "La Jolla") (http://www.ljpc.com/), a leader in the development of therapeutics targeting significant unmet life-threatening diseases, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a notice of allowance for patent application number 13/888,305 covering compositions of modified pectin. The patent, which expires in 2025 without taking into account patent term extension, provides proprietary protection for colloidal pectin solutions comprised of purified, modified pectin substantially free of molecular weights below 25 kD.
"These newly allowed claims further bolster our patent position for the use of modified pectin as therapeutic agents, and similar to our other issued patents, these claims cover pectin from all sources," said James Rolke, Senior Director of Research and Development at La Jolla and an inventor on the allowed patent application. "In addition, our pending patent applications will further expand our coverage of therapeutic modified pectins and their uses."
The Company's intellectual property portfolio also includes several issued patents covering various modified pectin compositions and methods for preparing biologically active modified pectins, as well as pending patent applications directed to additional modified pectin compositions and methods of use.
"We are committed to protecting our position as the leader in developing modified pectin therapeutics to treat severe, life-threatening diseases, including chronic diseases of the kidney, liver, heart, and lung, as well as cancer. Allowance of the additional broad patent coverage and having the lead inventor of this technology on our management team demonstrates La Jolla is well-positioned to maximize the potential benefit to patients and shareholders," stated George Tidmarsh, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of La Jolla.
About Pectin and GCS-100
Pectins are high molecular weight, complex polysaccharides that can be obtained from multiple sources (e.g., citrus, apple), all of which share a common basic structure comprising a block co-polymer of 1,4-linked galacturonic acid and 1-2-linked rhamnose with side branches of either 1,4-linked β-D-galactose or 1,5-a-linked L-arabinose. In addition, some portion of the galacturonic acid backbone can be esterified or exist as the uronic acid salt.
The Company's lead product candidate GCS-100, which is being tested in a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with chronic kidney disease, is covered by the allowed claims. GCS-100 is derived from pectin using our proprietary methods to control molecular weight and to enrich and expose the β-D-galactose side chains. These galactose residues bind to and block the activity of galectin-3. Over-expression of galectin-3 has been implicated in a number of human diseases, including chronic organ failure and cancer. This makes modulation of the activity of galectin-3 an attractive target for therapy in these diseases.
About La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company
La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of innovative therapeutics for chronic organ failure and cancer. GCS-100, the Company's lead product candidate, is a first-in-class inhibitor of galectin-3, a novel molecular target implicated in chronic organ failure and cancer. LJPC-501, the Company's second product candidate, is a natural peptide for the treatment of hepatorenal syndrome. For more information on the Company please visit http://www.ljpc.com.
Forward Looking Statement Safe Harbor
This document contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or our future results of operations. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results to be materially different from these forward-looking statements. The Company cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made. Certain of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors are described in greater detail in the Company's filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC"), all of which are available free of charge on the SEC's web site http://www.sec.gov. These risks include, but are not limited to, risks relating to the development of GCS-100 and LJPC-501, the success and timing of future preclinical and clinical studies of these compounds, and potential indications for which GCS-100 and LJPC-501 may be developed. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to the Company or to persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth in the Company's reports filed with the SEC. The Company expressly disclaims any intent to update any forward-looking statements.