SAN DIEGO, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced today that Merck & Co., Inc. initiated a Phase 1 clinical trial of a second generation oral niacin receptor agonist under a collaboration between the companies to discover drugs for the treatment of atherosclerosis and other disorders. The initiation of this trial does not trigger a milestone payment.
"We are very pleased with the progress of this collaboration investigating the therapeutic potential of niacin receptor agonists to treat atherosclerosis and other disorders. We are looking forward to the Phase 1 results and the continued progress of the program," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer.
Arena also announced that preclinical investigation of MK-0354, a first generation niacin receptor agonist being evaluated for indications other than atherosclerosis, was discontinued for compound specific reasons.
Atherosclerosis is characterized by the collection of fatty material deposits, such as cholesterol, along artery walls. This fatty material thickens, hardens, and may eventually block the arteries, adversely affecting blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke over time. The American Heart Association estimates that atherosclerosis accounts for nearly 75% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol, commonly known as the "good" cholesterol, can help clear the fatty deposits from the walls of blood vessels and transport cholesterol to the liver for processing and removal from the body. Drugs that can influence the levels of HDL cholesterol, or "good" cholesterol, may potentially provide clinical benefits to patients by reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The niacin receptor, a G protein-coupled receptor, or GPCR, is believed to have potential in regulating plasma lipid profiles, including HDL.
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing oral drugs in four major therapeutic areas: cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammatory and metabolic diseases. Arena's most advanced drug candidate, lorcaserin, is being investigated in a Phase 3 clinical trial program for the treatment of obesity. Arena's broad pipeline of novel compounds targeting G protein-coupled receptors, an important class of validated drug targets, includes compounds being evaluated independently and with its partners, Merck & Co., Inc. and Ortho-McNeil Pharmaceutical, Inc.
Arena Pharmaceuticals(R) and Arena(R) are registered service marks of the company. "APD" is an abbreviation for Arena Pharmaceuticals Development.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements
that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking
statements include statements about the therapeutic and other potential of
niacin receptor agonists; the results of the Phase 1 clinical trial of a
second generation niacin receptor agonist; the continuation and progress of
the collaboration between Merck and Arena and the activities and program
thereunder; the niacin receptor's potential in regulating plasma lipid
profiles; the potential of drugs that influence HDL cholesterol to provide
clinical benefits to patients; and about Arena's strategy, internal and
partnered programs, and ability to develop compounds and commercialize
drugs. For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private
Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may
differ materially from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause
actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements
include, but are not limited to, planned clinical trials and studies may
not proceed at the time or in the manner Arena expects or at all, the
results of preclinical studies or clinical trials may not be predictive of
future results, Arena's ability to partner lorcaserin, APD125, APD791 or
other of its compounds or programs, the timing, success and cost of Arena's
research, out-licensing endeavors and clinical trials, Arena's ability to
obtain additional financing, Arena's ability to obtain and defend its
patents, and the timing and receipt of payments and fees, if any, from
Arena's collaborators. Additional factors that could cause actual results
to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's forward-
looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Arena's
judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or
obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be
required under applicable law.
Contacts: Jack Lief Mary Claire Duch
President and CEO WeissComm Partners
David Walsey 212.301.7228
Director, Corporate Communications
Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
858.453.7200, ext. 1682
|SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.|
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