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PharmaGap Inc. (GAP) And MD Biosciences Announce a Collaboration to Pursue Development of a Novel PKC Theta Inhibitor for Inflammatory and Neurological Diseases



3/16/2009 1:07:27 PM

Zurich, Switzerland & Ottawa, Canada, March 16, 2009 – PharmaGap Inc. (TSX-V: GAP) (“PharmaGap” or “the Company”) and MD Biosciences GmbH (“MD Biosciences”) have entered into a co-development collaboration pertaining to novel compounds for therapeutic usage in inflammatory and neurological applications, including potentially arthritis and multiple sclerosis. MD Biosciences has been granted exclusive access to a series of novel peptide compounds designed by PharmaGap as inhibitors of protein kinase c theta (“PKC theta”). PKC theta is a cellular signaling molecule associated with processes believed to contribute to many inflammatory and neurological disease conditions. MD Biosciences will assess the PharmaGap compounds in order to characterize their activity against PKC theta and then identify specific disease conditions in the areas of inflammation and neurology where the compounds may prove to be of therapeutic value. MD Biosciences would act as the lead partner to then commercialize the compounds for these specific therapeutic indications. Commercialization rights on generated intellectual property will be shared by the companies. Details of the agreement remain confidential.

MD Biosciences is a Swiss-based preclinical contract research and drug development company with numerous technology platforms and a core focus in Inflammation and Neurology Research. The Drug Discovery division is focused on developing early stage drug compounds for therapeutic applications within inflammation and neurology. MD Biosciences’ strategy is to develop a series of novel drug compounds suitable for out-licensing to larger pharmaceutical industry partners. MD Biosciences operates facilities in Switzerland, the UK, the U.S. and Israel. Dr. Eddie Moradian, Chief Executive of MD Biosciences, said, “We are extremely pleased to establish this collaboration with PharmaGap. The application of our inflammation and neurology discovery platforms to PharmaGap’s novel peptide inhibitors of PKC theta will accelerate and maximize the potential for development and future commercialization for the resulting final compounds. Our knowledge of the inflammation and neurology field tells us that novel compounds targeting protein kinases and cell signaling are of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry”

Dr. Jenny Phipps, Chief Scientific Officer of PharmaGap, stated, “I am delighted and excited to continue working with the technical and scientific team at MD Biosciences. I believe that their expertise and technology will add immensely to our PKC theta development program, not only in the area of inflammation and neurology but also in providing key insights that can be used in our established cancer program.”

“We are very pleased that MD Biosciences has identified our inhibitor of PKC theta as a compound of interest to which they wish to apply development resources and technology” said Robert C. McInnis, President and C.E.O. of PharmaGap. “Their capabilities and technology platform will allow much quicker and more technologically efficient development of a potential therapeutic drug for use in inflammation and neurological disease, which is an area in which PharmaGap has not defined as being a core focus, thus leveraging the potential value for PharmaGap shareholders in the investment in our technology platform made to date. This collaboration allows us to expand the potential downstream value of the PKC theta compound into other diseases, while allowing us to maintain our clear focus on developing compounds for cancer. Furthermore, it demonstrates the value in the underlying concept of our Company’s research program, which is to produce a series of compounds targeting PKC isoforms based on a common drug design architecture.”

Protein Kinase C Theta

The protein kinase c family of cellular enzymes modulate important biochemical and geneticbased signaling pathways in cells. PKC theta is associated with cell signaling processes in inflammatory and neurological diseases, as well as in certain cancers.

About MD Biosciences GmbH

MD Biosciences (www.mdbiosciences.com) is a leading preclinical contract research organization (CRO) and drug development company focused in Inflammatory and Neurology Diseases. It’s novel technologies encompass in vivo and in vitro mechanism of action platforms, in vitro compound profiling, efficacy and proof-of-concept, as well as multiple end-point readouts including biomarker/gene expression analysis, imaging capabilities and histopathology. These technologies are currently being applied across the pharmaceutical, medical device and animal health and nutrition sectors.

The MD Biosciences drug discovery and development activities are funded privately by the Moradian-Shasha group with the objective of value creation through the discovery of novel compounds or the repositioning of existing compounds in new applications. MD Biosciences is open towards the negotiation of collaborations in defined areas and with companies having the same ideals and objectives.

About PharmaGap Inc.

PharmaGap Inc. (TSX-V: GAP), based in Ottawa, ON, is a biotechnology company with a core focus on developing novel therapeutic compounds for the treatment of cancer. PharmaGap's research platform targets cellular signalling pathways controlled by Protein Kinase C (PKC) isoforms. PharmaGap's lead drug compound, PhG-alpha-1, is in preclinical development. The Company's strategy is to out-license drug compounds to larger life sciences companies at the preclinical stage. For more information on PharmaGap please visit the Company's website at www.pharmagap.com.


Read at BioSpace.com


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