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Morria Biopharmaceuticals Plc Announces Preliminary Results Regarding Inflammatory Markers From its Phase II Study in Allergic Rhinitis


10/29/2008 11:02:46 AM

LONDON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Morria Biopharmaceuticals Plc, a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, anti-inflammatory drugs, announced today the preliminary results from its recently completed Phase II equivalent study of MRX-4, in a nasal aerosol formulation, in 105 patients suffering from allergic rhinitis (AR). The two-arm, randomized, multi-dose, double-blind, placebo-controlled study included Rhinocort(R) as the steroid comparator arm.

A secondary efficacy endpoint of this study was the effect of MRX-4 on inflammatory mediators/markers in the nasal lavage of selected patients following allergen stimulus. The patients were pre-treated by either a placebo or MRX-4 for 7 days twice per day (b.i.d.) beforehand.

MRX-4 demonstrates an overall trend of reducing the levels of five inflammatory mediators: IL-5 (interleukin-5), IL-13, TNF-alpha (Tumor Necrosis Factor alpha), MCP-1 (Monocyte Chemoattractant Protein-1) and Eotoxin. These mediators have been shown to play an important role in various inflammatory diseases such as allergic rhinitis, asthma, skin and intestinal inflammation and arthritis. All have previously been shown to be modulated by MRX-4 in vitro and in vivo in pre-clinical models. This is the first time that such modulation has been observed in patients.

In addition, the levels of eosinophils were tested in the nasal lavage. Eosinophils are white blood cells that play a key role in the allergic response. MRX-4 reduced the levels of these cells compared to placebo-treated patients.

"We are pleased by the wide range of divergent inflammatory mediators that we are modulating, several of which have been extensively covered in the scientific literature recently. Mediators, such as IL-5, IL-13 and TNF-alpha, are currently targets of research and development in the pharmaceutical field for treating respiratory inflammatory diseases, and MRX-4 modulates them in these patients," said Yuval Cohen, President of Morria Biopharmaceuticals.

ABOUT ALLERGIC RHINITIS

Allergic rhinitis is a common condition that affects nearly 59 million people in the United States (nearly 20 percent of the population) with a market of close to $4 billion. Allergic rhinitis is characterized by inflammation of the nasal membranes accompanied by nasal congestion and rhinorrhea.

ABOUT MORRIA BIOPHARMACEUTICALS Plc

Morria Biopharmaceuticals Plc is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel, anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals termed multi-functional anti-inflammatory drugs (MFAIDs). This class of drugs uniquely combines two promising approaches to preventing and reversing inflammation: first, they control the phospholipase A2 (PLA2) enzyme family, a known, but previously elusive anti-inflammatory drug target. At the same time, they also protect cells and tissues against inflammatory damage. Morria is determined to become a pivotal player in the $20 billion anti-inflammatory drug market by developing and commercializing novel drugs for respiratory, acute pulmonary, gastro-intestinal, ophthalmological, and other inflammatory diseases. For more information, please visit http://www.morria.com .

This is not an invitation nor is it an offer to purchase or subscribe for shares. This release is only intended for persons falling within the exception set out in regulation 47 of the Financial Promotion order - Persons in the business of disseminating information.

CONTACT: Timothy Rathschmidt, trathschmidt@rlcinc.com or Investors,
Cecelia Heer, cheer@rlcinc.com, both of Richard Lewis Communications, Inc.,
+1-212-827-0020

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



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