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Co-Inventor of Amgen's Aranesp(R) Technology Directs Worldwide Patent Strategy for Diffusion Pharmaceuticals' First-in-Class Oxygen Enhancing Therapeutics

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va., Dec. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC, a clinical stage drug-development company commercializing first-in-class drugs utilizing a novel mechanism of action that enhances oxygen diffusion, today announced that one of its key advisors, Mr. Thomas Byrne, was recently recognized as a co-inventor of the underlying technology of Amgen's blockbuster drug Aranesp(R) (darbepoietin alpha), a erythropoiesis stimulating agent (US Patent No. 7,217,689).

Mr. Byrne, who is an Officer of Diffusion Pharmaceuticals and a member of its Board of Directors, has directed the worldwide intellectual property strategy of the Company since its inception in February 2001. His experience includes in-house counsel positions within both Genentech and Amgen.

"We are exceptionally fortunate to have such an experienced pharmaceutical development executive with scientific acumen and expertise in related intellectual property law leading our worldwide patent strategy and helping to guide the company," says David G. Kalergis, Diffusion Pharmaceuticals' Chief Executive Officer.

About Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC

Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC is a clinical-stage drug-development company commercializing a family of first-in-class drug candidates to treat serious or life-threatening medical conditions. These proprietary small molecules use a novel method of action to enhance oxygen diffusion to oxygen deprived (hypoxic) tissue. Potential clinical applications include critical care uses such as trauma, hemorrhage, stroke and heart attack, and cancer as well as chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, respiratory disorders, anemia and peripheral vascular disease. Enhanced diffusion of oxygen into hypoxic tissue has an important application in oncology by improving the efficacy of radiation therapy in cancerous tumors. The Company's first Phase I clinical trial for its lead molecule, trans sodium crocetinate (TSC), shows the drug is well-tolerated in healthy human subjects at doses significantly higher than the estimated efficacious human dose. Clinical trials will begin in 2008 in peripheral vascular disease patients suffering from intermittent claudication and in cancer patients undergoing radiation therapy. Diffusion Pharmaceuticals, which is privately held, is located in Charlottesville, Virginia. For more information, visit

SOURCE Diffusion Pharmaceuticals LLC
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