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Potentia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Announces Positive Safety Data and Study Expansion in Phase I Trial for Lead Drug Candidate POT-4


9/29/2008 8:24:18 AM

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Sept. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Potentia Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company developing medicines for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) announced today that the Company's leading drug candidate, POT-4, has shown early positive safety results in its Phase I study. POT-4 is a complement inhibitor, which shuts down the complement activation cascade that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage and upregulation of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Based on this mechanism of action, POT-4 holds the potential to be effective against both dry and wet AMD.

"POT-4 has generated encouraging safety and tolerability data in this Phase I study and holds significant promise as a novel agent for treating AMD; a debilitating condition for which there is no cure," said Cedric Francois, President and CEO of Potentia. "As a result of the favorable early data, it was decided to expand the trial to permit further dose escalation, with the goal of prolonging the pharmacological benefit from POT-4. Potentia looks forward to the presentation of the Phase I data at a future medical conference and, with additional information gained from the extension of the study, to the initiation of Phase II trials in the future."

About AMD

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly of the western world and affects more than 10 million patients in the United States alone. The current standard of care for AMD relies primarily on angiogenesis inhibitors, an approach geared towards the approximately 10-15% of AMD patients with complications resulting from ocular angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels and bleeding in the back of the eye). No drug currently on the market has been approved for the treatment of the remaining patients, who suffer from the so-called "dry" form of the disease.

About the Complement System and POT-4

Complement activation is an inflammatory process involving dozens of plasma proteins, ultimately leading to cell membrane disruption through the membrane attack complex (MAC). Activation of the complement system is an important part of the body's defensive immune response against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. In spite of its defensive function, inappropriate or excessive complement activation can have destructive consequences if left unchecked. Over the past three years, multiple scientific publications have strongly linked variants of genes encoding components of the complement system with a predisposition toward AMD.

POT-4 binds tightly to complement component C3, preventing its participation in the complement activation cascade. As C3 is the central component of all major complement activation pathways, its inhibition effectively shuts down downstream complement activation that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage and upregulation of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF).

About Potentia

Potentia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an early stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics and drug delivery technologies to address chronic inflammatory diseases, with an initial emphasis on diseases of the eye such as age-related macular degeneration.

CONTACT: Pascal Deschatelets, +1-502-569-1053, or Media, Paul Kidwell,
+1-617-296-3854, paulkidwell@comcast.net, both for Potentia Pharmaceuticals

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



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