Phase II Grant Approved for Adenosine Therapeutics to Continue Study Of A2A Agonists for Adjunct Sepsis Therapy

5/30/2002 8:01:00 AM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., May 30, 2002 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Adenosine Therapeutics, LLC announced today the award of a Phase II STTR Grant from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health. The primary goal of the project, entitled "A2A Adenosine Agonists Limit Damage from Infection," is to continue the development of A2A adenosine receptor agonists as an adjunct therapy for sepsis and sepsis syndrome. With the Phase I project completed, year two has been funded at $516,103 and year three at $427,450 bringing the total funding for the Phase I/II project to $1,043,553.

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Sepsis syndrome is the 11th leading cause of death in the United States and the incidence has been increasing over the past 20 years. With approximately 900,000 new cases per year, sepsis carries with it a high morbidity and an overall mortality rate of about 35%. Gram-negative bacteria account for about 60% of these infections. Phase I of this grant documented the anti-inflammatory effects of A2AAR agonists on isolated immune cells. Then, A2AAR agonists were used to dramatically improve survival rates in mouse models of septic shock from gram-negative bacterial infection with E. coli. After screening 30 newly-synthesized A2AAR agonists, a lead compound was selected for further development. The lead compound is potent, selective and unlikely to have toxic metabolites.

Phase II will continue the characterization of the lead compound. Preliminary toxicology, pharmacokinetics and metabolism will be evaluated and methods for large-scale synthesis of the compound will be developed. The efficacy of the new agonist in a model for lethal E. coli peritonitis and bacteremia using various treatment regimens, and the effects of A2AAR agonists on clinically relevant endpoints (other than mortality) such as renal failure, dysfunction of the liver and lungs, and cytokine responses will be studied. Positive results from this Phase II research program will bring the product closer to the clinical research stage of development.

The Principal Investigator for the project is Robert D. Thompson, Ph.D. who also serves as Adenosine Therapeutics' Director of Chemistry. Contributing scientists include Robert A. Figler, Ph.D., Director of Pharmacology for Adenosine Therapeutics, W. Michael Scheld, M.D., Professor of Medicine and Infectious Diseases at the University of Virginia, and Joel Linden, Ph.D., Adenosine Therapeutics' Chief Scientific Officer and a Professor of Medicine at the University of Virginia.

"Despite recent advances, bacterial sepsis syndrome is an increasingly common and serious problem in acute care units and the need for adjuvant therapies is urgent," said Dr. Scheld, a leading authority on sepsis. "Given the encouraging results from our Phase I research, we are confident that development of a new pharmaceutical approach for the treatment of sepsis syndrome is in the near future."

Adenosine Therapeutics focuses on the discovery and development of novel pharmaceutical products that target adenosine receptor subtypes. Candidates for drug development are identified and screened using the Company's state of the art platform technology. The Company was founded with the goal of bringing new adenosine-receptor selective drugs into clinical trials for a broad range of potential indications. These drug indications include sepsis, heart attack, ischemia-reperfusion injury, vascular injury, stroke, spinal cord injury, organ transplantation, COPD, asthma, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, retinopathy, and evoking new blood vessel formation in circulatory insufficiency.

SOURCE Adenosine Therapeutics, LLC

CONTACT: Robert Capon, CEO of Adenosine Therapeutics, LLC, +1-434-971-6800URL:
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