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PolyMedix to Present at Keystone Symposia Global Health Series Tuberculosis Biology, Pathology and Therapy

Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Thursday, January 29 2009, Keystone, Colorado

RADNOR, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jan 28, 2009 - PolyMedix, Inc., an emerging biotechnology company developing acute care products for infectious diseases and acute cardiovascular disorders based on biomimetics, will make a poster presentation at the Keystone Symposia Global Health Series, Tuberculosis Biology, Pathology and Therapy. The presentation will be given by PolyMedix Vice President of Research, Dr. Richard Scott, on Thursday, January 29, 2009, at the Keystone Resort, Keystone, Colorado.

Titled “Novel Antimicrobial Molecules for Treatment of M. Tuberculosis,” the presentation focuses on the mechanism of action of PolyMedix compounds and their activity against the tuberculosis bacterium, and why the Company believes bacterial drug resistance is unlikely to develop to these compounds. Record levels of MDR-/XDR-TB were reported in 2007.

Completely different from other antibiotic compounds currently on the market, PolyMedix's compounds are synthetic chemical mimics of host defense proteins, one of the oldest and most effective antimicrobial defense systems found in virtually all living creatures. These compounds are the first and only small molecule mimetics of host defense proteins intended to treat systemic infections. They have a novel mechanism of action, the direct biophysical disruption of bacterial cell membranes, which the Company believes makes development of bacterial resistance unlikely.

PolyMedix's lead defensin-mimetic antibiotic compound, PMX-30063, is currently in Phase I human clinical testing. On December 10, 2008, PolyMedix announced the results and successful outcome of the first Phase I human clinical study with PMX-30063. PolyMedix plans to develop PMX-30063 as a pan-Staph agent, for the broad treatment of many forms of Staphylococcus infections. The compounds described in the Keystone poster represent new molecules for possible development as potential treatments for tuberculosis, which share the same mechanism of action as PMX-30063.

The poster describes studies with six molecules spanning several chemical structural series and screening by the Tuberculosis Antimicrobial Acquisition and Coordinating Facility (TAACF). The studies used in vitro assays to measure susceptibility against H37Rv strain of M. tuberculosis and cytotoxicity to monkey VERO cells. Three of the tested antimicrobial compounds exhibited high antimicrobial activity (IC90 < 5 µg/ml) against the H37Rv strain of M. tuberculosis, with selectivity greater than 30-120 fold for TB versus mammalian cells. The synthetic small molecules rapidly killed the M. tuberculosis cells in vitro. These compounds are stable and not immunogenic, and the results indicate they may be successful treatment for MDR and XDR strains of M. tuberculosis.

“We are honored and delighted to present these findings at Keystone,” said Nicholas Landekic, President & C.E.O. of PolyMedix. “Drug resistant tuberculosis is a significant and growing problem. There is an urgent need for new treatments, and for resources to be committed to their development. These results indicate that our small-molecule defensin mimetics may be effective treatments for drug resistant tuberculosis, with a lower risk of bacterial resistance developing to them. We look forward to helping to address one of the most important healthcare problems facing the world today.”

Meeting Summary of the Keystone Symposia

Tuberculosis kills 2 million people per year worldwide. Although great strides have been made in the past decade in understanding Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the complexity of the disease necessitates a multi-pronged approach. Translating insights related to host-pathogen interplay and bacterial physiology into treatments is complex, requiring academics and industrial scientists to come together in new and creative ways. In humans the infection is persistent and chronic, yet reactivates into fulminating progressive disease. This, and the shortage of appropriate animal models, form major obstacles to identifying factors that determine disease progression and the extensive pathology associated with transmission. This meeting focuses on basic mechanisms of pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, and how the balance of control of infection within the granuloma is influenced by host and bacterial factors.

Posted: January 2009