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Lpath, Inc. and Echelon Biosciences Inc. Introduce New Cancer Research Assay Based on Lpath's Breakthrough Anti-Cancer Drug Candidate, Sphingomab(TM)


7/10/2007 10:16:30 AM

SAN DIEGO, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Lpath, Inc. , the category leader in therapeutic agents against bioactive lipids, and Echelon Biosciences Inc., a unit of AEterna Zentaris and a pioneer in the field of lipid research and lipid-protein interactions, have introduced a new assay for cancer research based on Lpath's patented breakthrough anti-cancer drug candidate, Sphingomab(TM). The assay is offered exclusively via Echelon's order line at (866) 588-0455 and Echelon catalog number K-1900.

Sphingomab is a monoclonal antibody against sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), an important bioactive lipid that has been well validated as a cancer drug target. Recent scientific literature suggests S1P is a potent tumorigenic growth factor that is likely released from tumor cells, and S1P may be a novel biomarker for early-stage cancer detection. S1P, a key component of the sphingolipid signaling cascade, initiates a proliferative, pro-angiogenic, and anti-apoptotic sequence of events contributing to cancer progression. Sphingosine kinase, the enzyme that produces S1P, has also been shown to be up-regulated in a variety of cancer types.

The new assay, co-developed by Lpath and Echelon, is designed as a sensitive and robust method for the quantification of S1P. It was developed under an exclusive agreement that grants Echelon world-wide rights to develop, market, and sell a "research use only" assay kit that incorporates Sphingomab as a method to determine the concentration of S1P.

"The introduction of this assay represents a major milestone for Lath and the advancement of Sphingomab," notes Dr. Roger Sabbadini, Lpath's founder and chief scientific officer. "It provides the scientific research community a powerful new vehicle to further understand the role of S1P and validate it as a promising therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer and a variety of other indications. Echelon is a well regarded and highly capable company in the area of phospholipid and sphingolipid research products, and has proven to be an ideal partner in this endeavor."

W. Tim Miller, Echelon's president and CEO, added, "We look forward to further collaborating with Lpath and applying its advanced technology to develop an entire suite of sphingosine-related reagents and assays for advancing the research of cancer and human cellular disease."

Independent research demonstrating the profound anti-cancer effects of Sphingomab were published in the March 2006 edition of the prestigious journal, Cancer Cell. (See: http://www.cancercell.org/content/article/fulltext?uid=PIIS1535610806000602).

About Lpath

Lpath, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, is the category leader in lipidomic-based therapeutics, an emerging field of medical science whereby bioactive signaling lipids are targeted for treating important human diseases. Lpath's lead product candidate, Sphingomab, is a monoclonal antibody against a validated cancer target, sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), and has demonstrated compelling results in preclinical studies against multiple forms of cancers, against AMD, and against heart failure. Sphingomab is potently anti-angiogenic, yet it has other mechanisms of action that may prove advantageous in the clinical setting. As such, Lpath believes Sphingomab may represent the next generation of anti-angiogenesis-based therapeutics.

Lpath's second product candidate, Lpathomab(TM), is a monoclonal antibody against lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a key bioactive lipid that has been long recognized as a significant promoter of cancer-cell growth and metastasis in a broad range of tumor types.

Lpath's unique ability to generate antibodies against bioactive lipids is based on its patented ImmuneY2(TM) technology. The company intends to apply the ImmuneY2 process to other important lipid-signaling agents, thereby providing a robust pipeline of antibody-based drug candidates.

Sphingomab is a trademark of Lpath Inc. For more information about Lpath and Sphingomab visit http://www.lpath.com.

About Echelon

Echelon Biosciences Inc. is a leader in the field of lipid research and lipid-protein interactions that are essential top-level regulators in numerous cell signaling cascades. Abnormal signaling elements lead to many diseases like cancer, inflammation, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Echelon has been a top supplier of research information, lipid signaling assay and reagent technology for years with 600 customers in 40 countries around the world including major pharmaceutical companies and leading academic research institutions. It's rapidly expanding family of novel research assays and reagents for phospholipids, sphingolipids, and lysophospholipids provide the most advanced offering of its kind. Echelon also has an early-stage program in anti-infective development, targeting a novel pathway found in many problematic Gram negative bacteria. Echelon is a wholly owned subsidiary of Aeterna Zentaris, Inc. For more information about Echelon, visit http://www.echelon-inc.com

Forward-Looking Statements

Except for statements of historical fact, the matters discussed in this press release are forward looking and reflect numerous assumptions and involve a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from stated expectations. For example, there can be no assurance that required clinical trials will be successful, necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained, or the proposed treatments will prove to be safe or effective. Actual results may also differ substantially from those described in or contemplated by this press release due to risks and uncertainties that exist in our operations and business environment, including, without limitation, our limited experience in the development of therapeutic drugs, our dependence upon proprietary technology, our history of operating losses and accumulated deficits, our reliance on research grants, current and future competition, and other risks described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date hereof.

Lpath Contacts: Scott Pancoast, President and CEO spancoast@lpath.com Lpath Investor Relations Liolios Group, Inc. Scott Liolios or Ron Both info@liolios.com 949-574-3860 Echelon Contacts: W. Tim Miller President and CEO wtmiller@echelon-inc.com 801-588-0455

Lpath, Inc.; Echelon Biosciences Inc.

CONTACT: Scott Pancoast, President and CEO of Lpath, spancoast@lpath.com;or Investor Relations, Scott Liolios or Ron Both, both of Liolios Group,Inc., info@liolios.com, +1-949-574-3860, for Lpath; or W. Tim Miller,President and CEO of Echelon, wtmiller@echelon-inc.com, +1-801-588-0455



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