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Vect-Horus Accentuates its Leadership in Delivering Drugs to the Central Nervous System

5/23/2010 11:01:41 PM

Marseille, May 18, 2010 – Vect-Horus is a biotechnology company based on the scientific work of Dr. Michel Khrestchatisky and specializes in the development of peptide and pseudo-peptide-based vector molecules for drug targeting and delivery to the central nervous system (CNS). The company announced today the publication of its first patent by the ‘Institut National de la Propriété Intellectuelle’ (INPI) on April 23, 2010 (publication number FR2937322). This patent aims at protecting the first family of vectors of the company. Vect-Horus also announces the publication by the European Patent Office on April 29, 2010, of the worldwide extension (PCT) of this first patent (publication number WO2010/046588). Finally, Vect-Horus has also filed with the INPI a new patent to strengthen its intellectual property.

Under the leadership of Dr. Michel Khrestchatisky, Scientific Counselor and co-founder of the company, and Dr Patrick Vlieghe, Head of Development and in charge of the chemical optimization of vectors, VH0445, the lead vector of the Company has already demonstrated its relevance by improving very significantly the delivery of a therapeutic agent into the brain compared to the same agent administrated without vector. Proof of efficacy of the vector was obtained on treatment of acute pain in an animal model.

VH0445 recent analogs covered by the new patent are obtained by medicinal chemistry-based optimization. The patent filed with the INPI describes new peptide analogs of VH0445 with high potential for the development of new vectors with improved properties. When combined with various drugs, these vectors should significantly improve the effectiveness of drugs in the treatment of several major diseases of the CNS (brain tumors and infections, neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer).

Alexandre Tokay, CEO and co-founder declared: “Our IP portfolio protects more specifically our first family of vectors. Analogs of VH0445 that we have just patented are very promising and thanks to the implementation of our technology platform, we are very confident in our ability to discover and develop other families of vectors to facilitate the treatment of neurological disorders and major brain diseases.”.

Currently, less than 2% of small therapeutic molecules are able to cross blood vessels, from blood to the nervous tissues, because of the specific properties of nervous tissue blood vessels. These constitute the blood-brain barrier (BBB), a natural defense system that filters and controls very effectively the passage to the nerve tissue of substances transported in the blood, thus preventing them from reaching the brain freely.

To overcome this barrier and deliver drugs into the CNS, Vect-Horus has developed a unique and innovative technology platform dedicated to the discovery and development of peptide vectors that bind to specific receptors of the BBB, known to promote the transport of natural molecules across the BBB. Each receptor is thus used by Vect-Horus as a “Trojan horse” for the transport across the BBB of vector-drug conjugates.

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