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SARcode Announces Completion of Phase 1 Clinical Trial of SAR 1118 Ophthalmic Solution

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 11, 2008 - SARcode Corporation, a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing small molecule LFA-1 antagonists to treat inflammatory diseases, today announced the completion of a Phase 1 study of the safety, tolerability, and pharmacokinetics of its lead molecule, SAR 1118 in healthy human subjects. The full set of Phase 1 data is anticipated to be presented at a major ophthalmology meeting in the spring of 2009.

“The completion of the Phase 1 study represents the first-in-man experience for SAR 1118 and an important step toward the development of a novel therapy for ocular inflammation,” said Tom Gadek, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of SARcode Corporation. “Based upon the overall profile from the Phase 1 study, we will be designing the Phase 2 programs for dry eye and allergic conjunctivitis anticipated to start in the first half of 2009.”

SAR 1118 is a potent small molecule lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1; CD11a/CD18; αLβ2) antagonist that can be targeted against a broad range of ocular inflammatory conditions including dry eye, allergies, uveitis, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration. LFA-1 is an integrin found on all leukocytes and represents a therapeutic target of the immune system central to a number of inflammatory stimuli, whether mediated by cytokines, prostaglandins, leukotrienes or complement. SAR 1118 has demonstrated significant potency in in vitro models in inhibiting cell adhesion, cytokine production, and cellular proliferation. Topical ophthalmic solution of SAR 1118 has shown a significant reduction of ocular surface inflammation and improved aqueous tear production in canine dry eye disease. SAR 1118 was discovered by Sunesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SNSS) and licensed to SARcode. As part of the licensing agreement, Sunesis will receive an additional milestone payment upon the initiation of the Phase 2 clinical program.

About Dry Eye

Dry eye (keratoconjunctivitis sicca) is a multifactorial disease of the tears and ocular surface that results in symptoms of discomfort, visual disturbance and tear film instability with potential to damage the ocular surface. It is accompanied by increased osmolarity of the tear film and inflammation of the ocular surface (Dry Eye Work Shop (DEWS), 2007). According to the DEWS report, approximately 5 million patients 50 years and older have moderate to severe dry eye. A major contributing factor towards the development of dry eye is T-cell mediated disease and inflammatory cytokine production that leads to reduction in tear film quality and ocular surface inflammation. LFA-1 regulates T-cell adhesion, migration, proliferation, and cytokine production.

About SARcode

SARcode is a privately-held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of best in class small molecule LFA-1 antagonists as novel nonsteroidal immunomodulators/anti-inflammatory agents for the treatment of T-cell mediated inflammatory diseases. For additional information on SARcode Corporation, please visit



Contact: SARcode Corporation
Tom Gadek, 510-914-1896


Posted: December 2008