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Treating chronic pain, migraine & muscle spasticity through inhibition of neurotransmitter glutamate

LA JOLLA, CA, June 20, 2008 A Webinar hosted by TorreyPines Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: TPTX) at 11 a.m. EDT on June 25 will bring together industry experts to discuss the opportunity of treating chronic pain, migraine and muscle spasticity through the inhibition of the neurotransmitter glutamate.

The company's President and Chief Executive Officer, Neil Kurtz, M.D., will moderate a discussion following brief presentations by:

  • Tony Yaksh, Ph.D., Professor and Vice Chairman for Research, Department of Anesthesiology, and Professor of Pharmacology at the University of California, San Diego

    Dr. Yaksh will present information about glutamate receptors in the central nervous system as a target for chronic pain therapy. The focus of his research is the physiology and pharmacology of pain processing. A member of numerous professional societies, Dr. Yaksh has been a consultant to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and serves on the editorial boards of several journals. He has received many awards, including the FWL Kerr Award from the American Pain Society and the American Society of Anesthesiology Award for Excellence in Research.

  • Jerome Goldstein, M.D., Director of the San Francisco Headache Clinic and a board-certified neurologist who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, prevention and cure of headache

    Dr. Goldstein will present information about glutamate receptors in the brain as a target for acute and prophylactic migraine therapy. He is a member of the American Headache Society, The International Headache Society and The National Headache Foundation. Dr. Goldstein is a Board Certified Neurologist, a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology, and has special qualification for the treatment of headache from the National Headache Foundation. He has received many industry awards, published articles in industry journals and served on advisory boards related to the development of a wide range of headache therapies.

  • Alan J. Tuchman, M.D., Clinical Professor of Neurology and Pharmacology at New York Medical College, Principal of a neuroscience-focused consulting firm and a board-certified neurologist

    Dr. Tuchman will present information about glutamate receptors in the spinal cord as a target for muscle spasticity. He has served as Vice Chairman of the Department of Neurology at New York Medical College as well as Vice Dean of Clinical Affairs, which involved the development and management of clinical care and medical education policy for 29 affiliated hospitals. In addition, he was President of the Epilepsy Society of Southern New York. Dr. Tuchman is a frequent speaker about neuroscience topics at academic meetings.

"There's a growing body of scientific and clinical evidence that supports the further development of drugs that block the glutamate cascade," said Dr. Kurtz. "As the American Headache Society prepares to kick off its 50th Annual Scientific Meeting, we want to provide patients as well as the medical community with industry experts' perspectives as to what is clearly a promising approach for the treatment of migraine and other conditions."

TorreyPines Therapeutics' lead compound, tezampanel is the first AMPA/kainate-type glutamate receptor antagonist to be studied in clinical trials for chronic pain. Glutamate receptors mediate the functioning of glutamate, an important excitatory neurotransmitter. While normal glutamate production is essential, excess glutamate production, either through injury or disease, can have a range of pathological effects. By acting at both the AMPA and kainate receptor site to competitively block the binding of glutamate, tezampanel and its oral prodrug, NGX426, have the potential to treat a number of diseases and disorders. These include migraine and other forms of chronic pain such as neuropathic pain as well as muscle spasticity and rigidity secondary to spinal cord trauma, stroke and multiple sclerosis.


Contact: Wendy Lau
Russo Partners, LLC

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