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Nature Medicine study shows Peregrine's bavituximab can cure lethal virus infections
Date:3/20/2009

TUSTIN, Calif., November 23, 2008 -- Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: PPHM) today reported publication of data in Nature Medicine that supports the broad anti-viral potential of the company's novel anti-phosphatidylserine (anti-PS) antibody platform, showing that its PS-targeting drug bavituximab can cure lethal virus infections in animal disease models.

Bavituximab is in clinical trials for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and in preclinical development for the treatment of viral hemorrhagic fevers under a contract worth up to $44.4 million with the bioterrorism program of the U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). Bavituximab and other anti-PS antibodies are also being studied preclinically in HIV, cytomegalovirus (CMV) and other serious viral infections.

"Based on these findings, anti-PS antibodies such as bavituximab may represent a completely new class of drugs for the treatment of life-threatening viral infections," said study co-author Dr. Philip Thorpe, professor of pharmacology at UT Southwestern Medical Center and a scientific advisor to Peregrine. "By targeting a property of the host cell rather than the virus itself, anti-PS antibodies have the potential to treat a range of viral infections, and they should be less susceptible to the viral mutations that contribute to the development of drug resistance."

In the research reported today, scientists at UT Southwestern assessed the activity of bavituximab in animal models of two lethal viruses--cytomegalovirus and Lassa fever virus, a hemorrhagic fever virus that is listed as a class A bioterrorism agent by the CDC. Bavituximab showed potent anti-viral activity in both models.

Dr. Melina Soares, lead study author and UT Southwestern instructor of pharmacology, commented, "Recent non-affiliated research has further confirmed that exposed PS has immunosuppressive properties and is also clarifying its involvement during vi
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Contact: Barbara Lindheim
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Source:Eurekalert

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