NOVATO, Calif., May 29, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. ("Raptor" or the "Company") (Nasdaq:RPTP), announced that the Company has acquired exclusive rights to intellectual property related to cysteamine and related compounds in the potential treatment of parasitic diseases, including malaria, from McGill University ("McGill") in Montreal, Canada.
The McGill patent covers the use of cysteamine and related compounds in the potential treatment of malaria in combination with artemisinin, the current standard of care. Researchers at McGill reported that, in mouse models of malaria, the combination not only significantly reduced parasite levels in red blood cells but also improved survival rates compared to artemisinin alone.
Ted Daley, President of Raptor's Clinical Division, stated, "The McGill agreement provides Raptor with an entrée into the area of infectious disease that is based on what we believe are compelling and novel preclinical findings. With this preclinical foundation and the existing safety profile of cysteamine, we hope to advance this malaria program to a Phase 2 clinical stage quickly, aiming to leverage the various sources of grant funds available for clinical development of promising potential treatments for malaria. At the same time, exclusively licensing the intellectual property rights significantly strengthens and expands our proprietary position around cysteamine and related compounds."
Dr. Philippe Gros, Professor of Biochemistry at McGill, said, "The challenge for researchers developing malaria treatments has been the ongoing evolution of drug-resistant parasites that necessitate the search for new drug formulations. We were encouraged by the preclinical results so far that cysteamine and related compounds may serve to improve the effectiveness of artemisinin when the two compounds are used in combination."
Dr. Patrice Rioux, Raptor's Chief Medical Officer said, "The research done at McGill has indicated that cysteamine may have clinical utility in malaria. As malaria remains a difficult to treat disease, we feel this is an appropriate and exciting therapeutic area to extend our studies of cysteamine bitartrate. We look forward to a continued collaboration with the researchers at McGill, as well as other malaria clinical thought leaders, as we take the program forward."
According to the World Health Organization's ("WHO") World Malaria Report 2011, there were about 216 million cases of malaria and an estimated 655,000 deaths from malaria in 2010. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting. Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines. The current standard of care is treatment with artemisinin-based combination therapies. According to the WHO, resistance to antimalarial medicines is a recurring problem. While there are likely many factors that contribute to the emergence and spread of resistance, the use of oral artemisinins alone, as monotherapy, is thought to be an important driver. Without a second drug given as part of a combination, these resistant parasites survive and can be passed on to a mosquito and then another person.
About Cysteamine and RP103
RP103 is Raptor's proprietary delayed release oral medication currently being investigating in several indications. RP103 is an enteric coated, microbead formulation of cysteamine bitartrate.
In December 2007, Raptor obtained an exclusive, worldwide license from the University of California, San Diego for the development of RP103 and other forms of cysteamine for the potential treatment of Huntington's Disease currently in a Phase 2/3 clinical trial in France, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis ("NASH") currently in a Phase 2b clinical trial in the U.S. and for the development of RP103 for nephropathic cystinosis which Raptor has recently filed for marketing approval in the U.S. and E.U. Raptor has been granted orphan product designation for RP103 for the potential treatment for nephropathic cystinosis by the European Medicines Agency and U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") and for the potential treatment of Huntington's Disease by the FDA.
About Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp.
Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (Nasdaq:RPTP) ("Raptor") seeks to research, produce, and deliver medicines that improve life for patients with severe, rare disorders. Raptor currently has product candidates in clinical development designed to potentially treat nephropathic cystinosis, Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis ("NASH"), Huntington's Disease ("HD"), aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency ("ALDH2"), and thrombotic disorder.
Raptor's preclinical programs are based upon bioengineered novel drug candidates and drug-targeting platforms derived from the human receptor-associated protein and related proteins that are designed to target cancer and infectious diseases.
For additional information, please visit www.raptorpharma.com.
McGill University, founded in Montreal, Quebec, in 1821, is Canada's leading post-secondary institution. It has two campuses, 11 faculties, 10 professional schools, 300 programs of study and more than 35,000 students. McGill attracts students from more than 150 countries around the world. For additional information, please visit www.mcgill.ca/research.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This document contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or our future results of operation or future financial performance, including, but not limited to the following statements: that preclinical results using cysteamine in combination with artemisinin could be repeated in other preclinical and clinical studies in malaria; that Raptor will advance this malaria program to a Phase 2 clinical stage quickly; that Raptor will leverage the various sources of grant funds available for clinical development of promising potential treatments for malaria; that exclusively licensing the intellectual property rights significantly strengthens and expands Raptor's proprietary position around cysteamine and related compounds; that cysteamine and related compounds may improve the effectiveness of artemisinin when used in combination; that cysteamine could have clinical utility in malaria; that Raptor will continue a collaboration with the researchers at McGill, as well as other malaria clinical thought leaders and take the malaria program forward; and that Raptor will be able to successfully develop RP103 or any of its other product candidates. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the Company's actual results to be materially different from these forward-looking statements. Factors which may significantly change or prevent the Company's forward looking statements from fruition include: that Raptor may be unsuccessful in developing any products or acquiring products; that Raptor's technology may not be validated as it progresses further and its methods may not be accepted by the scientific community; that Raptor is unable to retain or attract key employees whose knowledge is essential to the development of its products; that unforeseen scientific difficulties develop with the Company's process; that Raptor's patents are not sufficient to protect essential aspects of its technology; that competitors may invent better technology; that Raptor's products may not work as well as hoped or worse, that the Company's products may harm recipients; and that Raptor may not be able to raise sufficient funds for development or working capital. As well, Raptor's products may never develop into useful products and even if they do, they may not be approved for sale to the public. Raptor cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made. Certain of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors are described in greater detail in the Company's filings from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which Raptor strongly urges you to read and consider, including: Raptor's annual report on Form 10-K, as amended by Form10-K/A, filed with the SEC on November 11, 2011 and December 19, 2011, respectively; and Raptor's quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on April 9, 2012; all of which are available free of charge on the SEC's web site at http://www.sec.gov. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributable to Raptor or to persons acting on its behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth in Raptor's reports filed with the SEC. Raptor expressly disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
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Source: Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp.
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