Kaleidos Pharma, Inc. Announces Collaboration With the NIH to Investigate TGF-alpha for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease


SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Sept. 24, 2002--Kaleidos Pharma, Inc. (KPI), formerly Stem Cell Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today announced the signing of a Materials Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (MCRADA) with the Surgical Neurology Branch of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (SNB/NINDS) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The agreement enables NIH researchers to obtain KPI's proprietary compound, Transforming Growth Factor alpha (TGF-alpha) to conduct non-human primate studies to evaluate the potential of TGF-alpha for the treatment of Parkinson's disease.

"This is an important and prestigious collaboration which promises to accelerate the development of our lead drug, TGF-alpha," commented Dr. John M. Reno, President of KPI. "Current treatments for Parkinson's disease provide temporary relief of some of this progressive disease's distressing symptoms. This is a fundamental step forward in studies aimed at establishing more effective therapy for this common and debilitating illness."

The study, which has already begun, is led by the collaboration's principal investigator, Dr. Edward H. Oldfield, chief of the Surgical Neurology Branch (SNB), and administered by Dr. Russell R. Lonser, Staff Neurosurgeon at the SNB. TGF-alpha will be delivered to the non-human primates using "Convection-Enhanced Drug Delivery" (CED), a proprietary method of drug delivery developed in Dr. Oldfield's laboratory and designed to ensure optimal delivery of the drug to bodily tissues, including the brain. These studies are focused on analyzing the proliferative effect of TGF-alpha on brain stem cells in those critical regions of the brain affected by Parkinson's disease, as well as defining drug delivery parameters in anticipation of human clinical trials.

"Preliminary studies in animal models have shown substantial promise for TGF-alpha for the treatment of Parkinson's disease," stated Dr. Edward Oldfield. "Upon the successful completion of the necessary preclinical animal studies, we expect to conduct human clinical trials of TGF-alpha administered to Parkinson's disease patients using CED."

Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disease that destroys the part of the brain responsible for control of motor function. Currently available treatments only partially relieve symptoms that progressively worsen, leaving the patient unable to move and ultimately causing death. More than one million people in the U.S. alone are afflicted with Parkinson's disease. Published studies carried out in the laboratory of Professor James Fallon at the University of California, Irvine have shown that TGF-alpha causes replacement of lost nerve cells and reverses symptoms in an established animal model of Parkinson's disease.

Kaleidos Pharma, Inc. is a privately held biotechnology company developing protein-based drug therapies for central nervous system disorders, including Parkinson's disease, and for certain AIDS and cancer indications. The Company's lead drug, TGF-alpha, is a well-studied molecule originally discovered at the National Cancer Institute by Dr. George Todaro, a member of the National Academy of Sciences and Dr. Daniel Twardzik, KPI's Vice President, Research. KPI has developed a number of academic and corporate collaborations to advance its drug development. Currently, TGF-alpha is being studied in a primate model of Parkinson's disease. This study is sponsored jointly by Centocor, a Johnson & Johnson company and the Johnson and Johnson Corporate Office of Science and Technology.

CONTACT:

Kaleidos Pharma, Inc.

Bob Littauer, 206/332-0712

rml@kaleidospharma.com