Metabasis Therapeutics Announces Late-Breaking Abstract on MB07803 Trial Results Accepted for Presentation at the American Diabetes Association Meeting

SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--May 6, 2009 - Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: MBRX) announced today that its late-breaking abstract has been accepted for presentation at the American Diabetes Association's 69th Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, LA (June 5-9, 2009). The abstract, entitled “Pronounced Glucose Reduction In Poorly Controlled T2DM with MB07803, a Novel Fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase Inhibitor (FBPaseI) with Reduced Potential for Acid-Base Disturbances vs the 1st Generation FBPaseI CS-917” will be presented in poster format in the Clinical Therapeutics/New Technology-Pharmacologic Treatment of Diabetes or its Complications category.

The poster presentation will disclose results from a 14-day, single-center, randomized, double-blind, PBO-controlled, ascending multi-dose trial in forty-two patients with poorly-controlled type 2 diabetes mellitus. MB07803 is Metabasis' second-generation product candidate from a new class of drugs that the Company discovered internally for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. MB07803 is designed to reduce glucose production in the liver by inhibiting the enzyme fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase (FBPase). Excess glucose production is a major contributor to the elevated glucose levels found in patients with type 2 diabetes. Inhibitors of FBPase are expected to fulfill an unmet medical need because the majority of current antidiabetic medications act primarily on insulin resistance or impaired insulin secretion and do not effectively or directly reduce endogenous glucose production. Prior to this trial, MB07803 had been evaluated in five Phase 1 trials in healthy volunteers and in a Phase 2a initial proof-of-concept trial in 105 patients with type 2 diabetes.

The poster has been assigned presentation number 11-LB and is available for viewing throughout the duration of the conference. Barry Gumbiner, M.D., Metabasis' chief medical officer and vice president of clinical development will be available to answer questions on Saturday, June 6 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm and during the evening Poster Session Reception for this category.

“Acceptance of our late-breaking abstract by the American Diabetes Association review committee provides an opportunity for us to present the results from our recent clinical trial on MB07803 at one of the world's most well-attended and important conferences on diabetes,” stated Mark Erion, Ph.D., president, chief executive officer and chief scientific officer. “Based on our studies to date, we believe that MB07803 represents a promising new class of oral drugs for treating patients with type 2 diabetes.”

About Type 2 Diabetes:

Diabetes is a rapidly growing, worldwide health crisis. According to the International Diabetes Federation, in 2007, the number of patients suffering with diabetes worldwide reached over 245 million, with treatment and prevention costs reaching approximately $232 billion. Approximately 90% of patients with diabetes worldwide have type 2 diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, diabetes is the fastest growing disease in the U.S. In 2007, approximately 20 million Americans, or 7% of the U.S. population, were afflicted with diabetes, with costs associated with the disease reaching $174 billion.

About Metabasis (www.mbasis.com):

Metabasis is a biopharmaceutical company using its proprietary technologies, scientific expertise and unique capabilities for targeting the liver and liver pathways to develop novel therapies to treat metabolic and other diseases. The Company has established a broad pipeline of product candidates and advanced discovery programs targeting large markets with significant unmet needs. Metabasis' core area of focus is on the discovery and development of drug candidates to treat metabolic diseases including hyperlipidemia and diabetes. Although not a core focus of the Company, Metabasis has also discovered and developed drug candidates for the treatment of liver diseases such as hepatitis and primary liver cancer, which it now intends to license or partner. All product candidates were developed internally using proprietary technologies and know how.

Forward-Looking Statements:

Statements in this press release that are not strictly historical in nature constitute "forward-looking statements." Such statements include, but are not limited to, references to the capabilities and potential of MB07803; Metabasis' ability to establish additional corporate partnerships; Metabasis' product pipeline, capabilities and long term goals; the status of ongoing and future partnering activities. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause Metabasis' actual results to be materially different from historical results or from any results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to, risks and uncertainties related to Metabasis' ability to obtain additional financing to support its operations; the progress and timing of clinical trials for Metabasis' product candidates; the fact that positive results from preclinical studies and early clinical trials does not necessarily mean later clinical trials will succeed; difficulties or delays in development, testing, obtaining regulatory approval, producing and marketing Metabasis' product candidates; serious adverse side effects or inadequate efficacy of, or serious adverse events related to, Metabasis' product candidates or proprietary technologies; the risk that Metabasis will not be able to build more value or retain rights for direct commercialization of its product candidates; Metabasis' dependence on its licensees and collaborators for the clinical development and registration of, as well as information relating to, certain of its product candidates; potential conflicts with collaborators that could delay or prevent the development or commercialization of Metabasis' product candidates; the scope and validity of intellectual property protection for Metabasis' product candidates, proprietary technologies and their uses; competition from other pharmaceutical or biotechnology companies; Metabasis' ability to generate financing through partnerships; Metabasis' ability to maintain compliance with Nasdaq Capital Market continued listing requirements; and other factors discussed in the "Risk Factors" section of Metabasis' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2008. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Metabasis is providing this information as of this date of this release and does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.

Contact: Metabasis Therapeutics, Inc.
Investor Relations & Corporate Communications
858-622-2223

Posted: May 2009

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