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Discovery of therapeutic peptides affecting mitochondria

In 2010, after more than 10 years of basic research, Dr. Peter W. Schiller, a world-renowned peptide chemist and Director of the Chemical Biology and Peptide research unit at the Institut de recherches cliniques de Montral (IRCM), and his international collaborators were the listed inventors on two U.S. patents awarded to the institute and covering different uses of a unique class of peptide compounds initially synthesized in Dr. Schiller's laboratory at the IRCM.

A total of five U.S. patents have been awarded to the IRCM to date involving these new peptide compounds. Patent applications have also been filed in many other countries, including Canada, Europe, Japan, India, Australia, and China. The IRCM co-owns these patent families with Cornell University, located in New York state.

Stealth Peptides International Inc. (Stealth), a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies, has exclusively licensed commercial rights to the compounds and their various applications. Stealth plans to develop new treatments for metabolic, ophthalmologic, neurologic and cardio-renal diseases using these and other compounds.

Stealth's lead clinical candidate is BendaviaTM, a novel compound from this class of peptides that targets cell mitochondria to treat several acute and chronic diseases.

The first clinical program for Bendavia is for the treatment of ischemia reperfusion injury, a common complication of interventional procedures for acute myocardial infarction, a leading cause of death worldwide, as reported by the World Health Organization. An Investigational New Drug application for Bendavia was filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Phase I clinical trials began in May 2010. The initial U.S. Phase I clinical trial was designed to evaluate the clinical safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of Bendavia in healthy volunteers. In September 2010, Stealth's U.S. affiliate announced the completion of the U.S. Phase I study. The preliminary results from this clinical trial demonstrated that Bendavia appeared to be well tolerated at the doses evaluated, with no serious adverse events reported. A Phase II clinical trial has already begun in several countries.

In the "Top Ten"

Windhover, a company owned by Elsevier that plays a major role in the production of health industry analyses, chose Bendavia as one of the "Top 10" projects to watch for in 2011 in the development of therapies for cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Contact: Julie Langelier
Institut de recherches cliniques de Montreal

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