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Arbor Vita and WRAIR sign CRADA for traumatic brain injury collaboration

Sunnyvale, CA September 8, 2008 The U.S. Department of Applied Neurobiology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and Arbor Vita Corporation (AVC) have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for research and development of treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI). The alliance is based on discoveries made from a collaborative effort between AVC and NoNO Inc., of Toronto, Canada, and will explore the use of the companies' NA-1 compound as a novel neuroprotective agent for severe brain injury of soldiers and civilians injured in explosions such as roadside bombs. NA-1 is an investigational compound that targets a PDZ protein and is in clinical trials for the treatment of stroke.

Arbor Vita Corporation has a novel drug development strategy targeting the PDZ family of proteins critical elements that organize and regulate many signaling pathways in cells. The disruption of PDZ interactions provides a means to control specific signaling cascades in complex diseases, including that which controls the death of neurons in the brain following a stroke. The combined research approach of WRAIR brain trauma scientists and neuroprotection experts and the neuroscience research teams of AVC and NoNO Inc. will provide a unique opportunity for conducting advanced preclinical neuroprotection research in a model of brain injury that mimics some types of battlefield injuries. The ultimate goal of the program is the advanced development of a novel therapy for the acute treatment of brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries from bombs and other explosions are troubling consequences of modern urban and terrorist warfare for both military personnel and civilians. Every year, approximately 1,400,000 individuals in the U.S. and upwards of 2,000,000 worldwide experience traumatic brain injuries. To date, despite very encouraging preclinical results, almost all Phase II/III neuroprotection clinical trials for stroke and TBI have failed to show any consistent improvement in outcome for TBI patients. Only therapies that ameliorate blood flow or target secondary effects are in clinical use. There is a clear unmet medical need for such a drug.

The CRADA between the WRAIR and Arbor Vita represents a collaborative effort employing state-of-the-art preclinical research platforms and drug development strategies that may yield a therapeutic agent ready for human clinical trial assessment. Under the terms of the CRADA, Arbor Vita will supply the clinical materials of NA-1 along with supporting preclinical and human clinical research data. WRAIR will conduct a dose-response study to establish proof of efficacy in a variety of brain injury models and, if successful, conduct additional studies in support of Phase II human clinical trials.


Contact: Debra Bannister
Arbor Vita Corporation

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