27 January 2009

Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd, has acquired the full rights to (R)-1-[6-[(R)-2-Carboxy-pyrrolidin-1-yl]-6-oxo-hexanoyl]pyrrolidine-2-carboxylic acid (CPHPC), a small molecule drug which targets serum amyloid P component (SAP) for treatment of systemic amyloidosis and other diseases associated with local amyloid deposits, notably Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes. This approach was devised by Professor Mark Pepys FRS of UCL and he developed CPHPC in collaboration with Roche in Basel, Switzerland.

Roche has agreed to fully divest its portfolio of patents on CPHPC and its ‘know how’ on the compound, to allow Pentraxin to proceed with further development of CPHPC alone or in collaboration with other partners. Pentraxin is currently in discussions on partnering certain aspects of the programme and has plans for conducting its own trials with CPHPC in Alzheimer’s disease.

Prof Pepys comments “Following the Roche decision to halt the development of CPHPC because of internal reprioritisation, we are delighted to be able to progress the project ourselves. We have very promising clinical results with CPHPC in patients with systemic amyloidosis, and the combination of CPHPC with a specific antibody we have lately developed unprecedentedly clears amyloid deposits in experimental models of the disease.”

Amyloidosis is a disorder of protein folding in which normally soluble proteins accumulate in the tissues as abnormal insoluble fibrils. These deposits damage the structure and function of the tissues and cause serious disease which is usually fatal if it affects major organs. Amyloid deposits are always present in the brain in Alzheimer’s disease, and in the pancreas in type 2 diabetes but their role in these diseases is not known. CPHPC alone or in combination with our new antibody treatment holds great promise for halting amyloid deposition and clearing existing deposits, which will have powerful clinical benefits in systemic amyloidosis and will also be highly informative in the amyloid-associated diseases.

About Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd
Pentraxin Therapeutics Ltd is a UCL spin out company formed in 2001 to hold the intellectual property and proprietary knowledge created by the research of Professor Mark Pepys.  The portfolio includes novel therapeutic approaches to amyloidosis and amyloid-related diseases as well as targeting the pathogenic effects of C-reactive protein in cardiovascular disease and inflammatory diseases.

Further Information
For further information contact Cengiz Tarhan, Managing Director, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, (c.tarhan@uclb.com)