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Palkion Selects Novel Oral Development Candidate for the Treatment of Anemia
Date:6/29/2009

SAN DIEGO, June 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Palkion, Inc. announced today that it has initiated preclinical development studies for its orally available anemia therapeutic candidate that modulates the Hypoxia-Inducible Factor Prolyl Hydroxylase (HIF-PH) enzyme system. In February 2008, Palkion was founded when a novel drug discovery and development firm, CrystalGenomics (KOSDAQ: CRYSTAL [A083790]) and a leading US-based venture capital firm, ProQuest Investments, formed a new joint venture entity.

Under this strategic alliance, CrystalGenomics is receiving upfront and research funding for 2 years from Palkion, in addition to development and sales milestone payments of potentially more than US$200 million. CrystalGenomics' role is to use its unique structure-based drug discovery platform to identify novel drug candidates while Palkion oversees the clinical development.

Since the start of this agreement, CrystalGenomics has placed a high priority on this project leading to faster delivery of preclinical candidates than originally expected. Palkion and CrystalGenomics anticipate the initiation of safety and efficacy clinical studies in 2010. There is a high level of enthusiasm as Palkion's candidates have demonstrated benefits and features in terms of efficacy at this early stage of development. In preparation of expedited preclinical development, Palkion has been assembling a team of clinical, regulatory and commercial experts from the pharmaceutical industry.

There is a great market opportunity for anemia therapeutics as IMS Health reported that Erythropoietins such as Aranesp(R), Epogen(R), and Procrit(R), ranked as the #5 top-selling therapeutic classes in the U.S. for 2006 with total sales of US$10 billion. However, since all of these currently available Erythropoietins are injectables, an oral agent, as being developed by Palkion, could be very appealing from both a commercial and clinical perspective as an ora
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SOURCE Palkion, Inc.
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