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Anthera's Varespladib Demonstrates Significant Anti-Inflammatory Effect and LDL Reduction in Patients With Coronary Heart Disease

HAYWARD, Calif., Nov. 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing anti-inflammatory drugs, today announced new data on its lead product, varespladib (A-002) at the American Heart Association (AHA) Annual Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana. Anthera has completed two Phase II trials in varespladib for the treatment of coronary heart disease. At the AHA conference, Anthera and its collaborators released new data from the Phase II PLASMA-2 study, which examined varespladib (A-002) in patients with cardiovascular disease.

Results from the most recent study showed that in patients with coronary heart disease (CHD) currently on statin therapy:

-- Varespladib had a significant anti-inflammatory effect as measured by a greater than 20% relative reduction in C-reactive protein

-- Varespladib had a substantial reduction in the target enzyme and pro- inflammatory marker, secretory phospholipase A2 (84%, p<.0001)

-- Varespladib resulted in a significant reduction in LDL in CHD patients (15%, p=.0006)

-- Varespladib caused a significant reduction in small LDL particles in CHD patients

-- Varespladib established a once a day dosing schedule with a clearly defined dose response

-- Varespladib continued to have a strong safety profile, confirming results from previous studies

"We are pleased to confirm the anti-inflammatory effect and safety profile of varespladib in patients with CHD," said Dr. James E. Pennington, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "The multiple therapeutic impact of varespladib's mechanism of action provides us with an opportunity to develop a first-in-class product targeting a life-threatening coronary event for which there are limited therapeutic options."

"Along with the Phase II PLASMA data presented at the American College of Cardiology earlier this year, today's data at AHA confirms our confidence in varespladib and its potential as new therapeutic to treat cardiovascular disease," said Dr. Colin Hislop, M.D., Senior Vice President of Cardiovascular Products at Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We look forward to data from the on-going FRANCIS trial to provide us with additional information on varespladib in the setting of an acute coronary event, specifically the impact of varespladib on markers of inflammation that may play a critical role in this disease."

Anthera Pharmaceuticals is a privately-held company committed to developing and commercializing clinical pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs of patients with life-threatening, chronic and acute inflammatory diseases and autoimmune disorders. The Company has acquired from Eli Lilly and Company and Shionogi & Co.‚ Ltd. worldwide rights (excluding Japan) to a series of clinical and pre-clinical compounds that inhibit the enzymatic activity of members of the phospholipase (PLA2) family -- a group of enzymes responsible for the release of arachidonic acid and subsequent production of leukotrienes‚ prostacyclins and other mediators of inflammation. These highly potent compounds inhibit novel‚ upstream steps in the inflammation cascade and have the potential to address a variety of diseases. The company has also acquired exclusive and worldwide rights to a peptide fusion protein, A-623, for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and other autoimmune diseases from Amgen. For more information, please visit


Anne Bowdidge

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SOURCE Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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