Amira Pharmaceuticals Announces Efficacy of LPA1 Antagonist in a Preclinical Model of Scleroderma

 

 

SAN DIEGO, Feb. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that their collaborators, Andrew Tager, M.D. and Flavia V. Castelino, M.D. of Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, will present a preclinical proof-of-concept study which demonstrates that the bioactive lipid lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), through its high affinity LPA1 receptor, is an important mediator of fibrogenesis in the bleomycin mouse model of scleroderma. Data will be presented as part of a poster session for the 1st Systemic Sclerosis World Congress to be held in Florence, Italy, February 11 to 13, 2010.

"Our data shows that in mice deficient for the LPA1 receptor, there is dramatic protection from the bleomycin-induced skin fibrosis seen in normal mice," said Dr. Tager, a member of Amira's Scientific Advisory Board. "In addition, similar protection from fibrosis was observed in normal mice treated with Amira's LPA1 receptor antagonist, AM095."

Peppi Prasit, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer, said, "AM095 is an orally available, potent and selective antagonist of the LPA1 receptor. We are currently moving AM095 and AM152, another LPA1 antagonist, through GLP toxicology testing and expect to initiate human clinical studies in the second half of 2010."

Bob Baltera, Chief Executive Officer, added, "So far we have seen compelling data in numerous preclinical models of fibrosis. We are excited by the possibility of eventually exploring efficacy in human disease settings, such as idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, scleroderma, kidney and liver fibrosis, and various metastatic cancers. There is a lot of work to be done, and we are up to the challenge."

About Amira

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Diego, Amira Pharmaceuticals is a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and early development of new drugs to treat inflammatory disease. Our discovery team is building on unparalleled insights into bioactive lipid pathways and complex signaling processes controlling many conditions including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cardiovascular and fibrotic diseases. Amira has a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline for the development of FLAP (5-lipoxygenase activating protein) inhibitors in respiratory and cardiovascular disease.

Amira combines the rigor of a big pharmaceutical company with the ingenuity and energy of a small company, creating an environment for efficient development of novel compounds and effective pre-clinical and clinical program decisions. Its scientific founders have successfully worked together for more than a decade and were pivotal in the discovery of a number of inflammatory drugs, including Singulair®. The drug hunters at Amira are now actively leveraging their history of success to create high-value compounds for the future. For more information, visit www.amirapharm.com.

Source: Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

CONTACT: Ian Stone of Russo Partners, +1-619-528-2220,
ian.stone@russopartnersllc.com, for Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Web Site: http://www.amirapharm.com/

Posted: February 2010

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