Phylonix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Issued Broad U.S. Patent For Screening Angiogenic Compounds Using Zebrafish

CAMBRIDGE, Mass., May 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Phylonix Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 7,041,276, covering a unique method of drug screening for angiogenesis in zebrafish. The patent, titled "Methods of Screening Agents for Activity Using Teleosts" and issued May 9, 2006, is the fourth U.S. patent issued to Phylonix for their pioneering work using zebrafish for drug screening.

The patent, which encompasses 37 claims, includes a method of using zebrafish to screen drug candidates for activity that is potentially useful in the treatment or prevention of diseases involving angiogenic processes, i.e., the enhancement or inhibition of the formation or growth of blood or lymph vessels. The technology covered by the patent includes screening transgenic and mutant zebrafish as well as treatment with chemicals, proteins and gene knock-down reagents. Combined with quantitative assessment of drug effects using microtiter plates (Phylonix, U.S. Patent, 6,656,449), access to this technology permits high throughput in vivo screening of compound libraries.

"This patent adds considerably to the extensive Phylonix intellectual property portfolio for drug screening using zebrafish," commented Patricia McGrath, Phylonix President and Chief Executive Officer. "We believe the lack of efficient early-stage in vivo screening assays contributes to high late-stage attrition rates for clinical compounds as well as the unsustainably high costs of drug development. The ability to conduct early stage in vivo compound screening using Phylonix eZ-Screens(TM) is already changing this landscape."

Advantages of Zebrafish for Angiogenic Drug Screening

Abnormal angiogenesis is involved in several serious diseases and Phylonix has developed zebrafish animal models for assessing angiogenesis in choroidal neovascularization, macular degeneration, wound healing and xenotransplants. In addition, the company has developed a microplate-based assay for quantitating drug effects on angiogenic vessel formation. Zebrafish have several important advantages for use in basic research and drug screening: they are small, inexpensive to maintain, and easily bred in large numbers; eggs are externally fertilized and a single mating produces 100-200 eggs. Furthermore, since single embryos can be maintained in fluid volumes as small as 100 microliters for the first six days of development, they can be cultured in microtiter wells (Phylonix, U.S. Patent, 6,656,449). All essential components of vertebrate form and organ development are mimicked in the transparent zebrafish and their molecular basis is either identical or similar, underscoring the potential for use in research on human diseases. Phylonix has demonstrated that for many compounds, results in zebrafish correlate with results in other animal models as well as with results in human clinical trials.

About Phylonix

Phylonix, located in Cambridge, MA, is a Contract Research Organization developing and marketing novel in vivo zebrafish-based assays, eZ-Screens(TM), for assessing drug candidates for cancers, central nervous system disorders, cardiovascular diseases, apoptosis and organ toxicity. The company's business strategy is to leverage the speed and cost-effectiveness of the zebrafish model to provide services for biopharmaceutical companies. For information on licensing options contact Edward O'Lear, Vice President of Finance and Business Development at ed.olear@phylonix.com or 617-441-6700 ext 302.

Phylonix Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Patricia McGrath, President and CEO of Phylonix Pharmaceuticals,Inc., +1-617-441-6700, ext. 301, or pat@phylonix.com

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