VIA Pharmaceuticals Presents Data at American Heart Association Meeting Showing VIA-2291 Significantly Reduces Inflammation in Preclinical Model of Atherosclerosis
SAN FRANCISCO and ORLANDO, Fla., November 06, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VIA Pharmaceuticals , a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, today presented data showing that VIA-2291 significantly inhibited vascular inflammation in a mouse model of atherosclerosis. VIA-2291, the company's lead drug candidate, is a potent, selective and reversible inhibitor of 5-lipoxygenase (5-LO), which is a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes (important mediators of inflammation involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis).
The data were presented at the Inflammation and Adhesion Molecules II session at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions 2007 in Orlando, FL (poster: B138).
"These data further validate our human clinical trial program with VIA-2291," said Larry Cohen, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of VIA. "By targeting this key pathway in vascular inflammation, we believe VIA-2291 may have the potential to reduce the major adverse cardiac events that occur as a result of the rupture of unstable plaque. We are encouraged that these data support VIA-2291 as a potential, powerful anti-inflammatory compound for the vascular system."
Atherosclerosis is the result of chronic inflammation and the buildup of plaque in arterial blood vessel walls. Research in both humans and mice has noted abundant expression of 5-LO co-localizing with macrophages in aortic lesions. These cells are often implicated in vascular inflammation in atherosclerosis.
The study used mice that were genetically modified to develop atherosclerosis. A team of researchers headed by Thomas Quertermous, M.D., chief of the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine at Stanford University, and chief scientific officer of VIA Pharmaceuticals, demonstrated a significant decline in the extent of atherosclerosis detected after a four week regimen of VIA-2291 given orally once a day. In addition, immunohistochemistry with a monocyte/macrophage specific antibody (anti-MOMA2) showed a similar inhibitory effect on this cell type within the remaining aortic lesions. Mice administered VIA-2291 displayed 35 percent less MOMA-2 reactivity counts per square millimeter of lesion.
VIA's lead product candidate, VIA-2291, is a small molecule drug that targets inflammation in the blood vessel wall, a primary disease process in atherosclerosis. VIA-2291 is being developed as a once-daily, oral drug to target inflammation in the blood vessel wall, thereby potentially decreasing the risk of major adverse cardiovascular events (MACE), including heart attack and stroke. According to the American Heart Association, 15.8 million patients in the U.S. have coronary artery disease.
About VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. VIA is building a pipeline of small-molecule drugs that target a significant unmet medical need: reducing inflammation in the blood vessel wall, which is an underlying cause of atherosclerosis and its complications, including heart attack and stroke. The company's lead drug candidate, VIA-2291, is in multiple Phase II clinical studies in patients with cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit: http://www.viapharmaceuticals.com.
This press release may contain "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or to VIA's future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause VIA's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "may," "could," "expect," "intend," "plan," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond VIA's control and which could materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.
Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to:
-- our ability to obtain necessary financing; -- our ability to control our operating expenses; -- our ability to recruit and enroll patients for the CEA, ACS and FDG-PET clinical trials; -- our ability to successfully complete our clinical trials of VIA-2291 on expected timetables and the outcomes of such clinical trials; -- the results of our clinical trials, including without limitation, with respect to the safety and efficacy of VIA-2291; -- the outcome of any legal proceedings; -- our ability to obtain necessary FDA approvals; -- our ability to successfully commercialize VIA-2291; -- our ability to obtain and protect our intellectual property related to our product candidates; -- our potential for future growth and the development of our product pipeline; -- our ability to form and maintain collaborative relationships to develop and commercialize our product candidates; -- general economic and business conditions; and -- the other risks described under the heading "Risk Factors" in our Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2007 on file with the SEC and in Amendment No. 3 to our Registration Statement on Form S-3, filed with the SEC October 15, 2007.
All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth above. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and VIA undertakes no obligation to update publicly any of these statements in light of new information or future events.
CONTACT: James G. Stewart, Senior Vice President and Chief FinancialOfficer of VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-415-283-2204; or Investors, IanClements or Lauren Glaser - San Francisco, +1-415-392-3385, or Brian Korb -New York City, +1-646-378-2923, all of The Trout Group, for VIAPharmaceuticals, Inc.; or Media, Aimee Corso of WeissComm Partners,+1-310-780-2661, for VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Web site: http://www.viapharmaceuticals.com/
Ticker Symbol: (NASDAQ-NMS:VIAP)
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Posted: November 2007