CHDI, Inc. And Edison Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Enter Collaborative Agreement; Development Of Therapeutics Targeting Huntington's Disease

LOS ANGELES and SAN JOSE, Calif., Aug. 1 /PRNewswire/ -- CHDI and Edison Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced the formation of a partnership to develop analogs of CoQ(10) selectively targeted to reach the brain and address the mitochondrial component of Huntington's disease.

Recent laboratory and clinical investigations suggest that alterations in energy metabolism may contribute to Huntington's disease, and that administration of CoQ(10), a component of the mitochondrial respiratory chain and an endogenous antioxidant, may have beneficial effects in combating the progression of the disease.

The goal of the partnership is to develop a 2nd generation CoQ(10) molecule for Huntington's disease. Edison will contribute expertise in redox pharmacology and translational biology pertaining to bioenergetics and disease, while CHDI will contribute its competencies in Huntington's disease and drug development. As part of the agreement, Edison will retain rights to the development of therapeutics derived from this program. Financial terms of the agreements were not disclosed.

"As Edison has a demonstrated competency in the design and synthesis of CoQ(10) analogs, and more broadly in redox medicinal chemistry, they were a logical partner to pursue this line of therapeutic exploration," stated Robert Pacifici, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer, Drug Discovery & Development and Chief Scientific Advisor to CHDI, Inc. "The program centers about the identification of a next-generation CoQ(10) with improved blood brain barrier penetration properties that is also tailored to the discrete biochemical energy defect reasoned to be associated with Huntington's disease."

"The CHDI partnership will allow us to leverage our skills and contribute more broadly to orphan indications such as Huntington's disease where emerging data suggests mitochondrial involvement in the disease mechanism," stated Guy Miller, MD, PhD, Chairman and CEO of Edison. "CHDI's commitment to expediting a cure for Huntington's disease is evident in its organizational structure and the skill sets they have assembled. In combining forces, we will be able to rapidly derive data about the pharmacology and efficacy of redox analogs of CoQ(10) bioisosteres -- which are of mutual interest to Edison and CHDI."

About CHDI, Inc. and High Q Foundation

CHDI Inc. and the High Q Foundation, Inc. (High Q) are non-profit organizations that share the mission of bringing together academia, industry, governmental agencies, and other funding organizations in the search for Huntington disease (HD) treatments.

CHDI, Inc. is pursuing a biotech approach to rapidly discover and develop drugs that prevent or slow HD. Through collaborations with industrial and academic partners, CHDI, Inc., participates in all aspects of drug discovery and development from high throughput screening to preclinical development. For more information about CHDI, Inc. and its collaborative programs please see or contact Robert Pacifici ( ).

High Q supports HD research aimed at target identification and validation, the development and use of animal models, drug delivery, and the search for markers of disease progression. For more information about High Q and its support of HD research please see or contact Ethan Signer ( ) or Allan Tobin ( ).

About Huntington Disease

HD is a familial disease, passed from parent to child through a mutation in a gene. Each child of an HD parent has a 50-50 chance of inheriting the HD gene which causes programmed degeneration of brain cells and results in emotional disturbance, loss of intellectual faculties and uncontrolled movements. Most people with HD develop the symptoms at midlife but in some people onset occurs in infancy or old age. The average survival time after onset is approximately fifteen to twenty years. It is estimated that about one in every 10,000 persons has the HD gene. At this time, there is no way to stop or reverse the course of HD.

About Edison Pharmaceuticals

Edison Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is focused on the development of drugs to treat inherited respiratory chain diseases of the mitochondria -- also referred to as energy impairment diseases. The company has received Orphan Designation status by the Food & Drug Administration for EPI-A0001 about inherited respiratory chain diseases and is advancing this candidate into clinical development with anticipated IND filing Q4 2006-Q1/2007. Edison Pharma possesses a specialized working knowledge in redox pharmacology and translational biology pertaining to bioenergetics and disease. The company's business is focused on orphan products, which affect fewer than 200,000 individuals. Edison has obtained substantial non-dilutive peer-reviewed support to advance both its pre-clinical and clinical initiatives from foundations and government organizations including the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance, the National Institutes of Health Rapid Access to Interventional Development (RAID) Pilot Program, Cure Huntington's Disease Inc., Muscular Dystrophy Association, Seek A Miracle/MDA and the City of San Jose, CA.

Edison Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Robert Pacifici, Ph.D., CSO-Drug Discovery & Development of CHDI,Inc.-MRSSI, +1-310-342-5507, or ; or KathyClemons, Director, Operations of Edison Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,+1-408-960-2912, or

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