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Potentia Pharmaceuticals to Present ASaP Phase I Clinical Trial Data for POT-4 at the American Academy of Ophthalmology Annual Meeting

POT-4 is the first complement inhibitor to be tested in AMD patients

LOUISVILLE, Ky., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Potentia Pharmaceuticals, a privately held biotechnology company developing medicines for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), announced today that the Company will be presenting its ASaP Phase I clinical data for its leading drug candidate, POT-4, during the Retina Subspecialty Day at the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA, on November 7, 2008.

Cedric Francois, President and CEO of Potentia Pharmaceuticals, said, "POT-4 is the first of several complement inhibitors that will ultimately be tested in macular degeneration. The role of complement in this disease was established in 2005 as the first breakthrough discovery resulting directly from the human genome project. If complement inhibition is successful at treating macular degeneration, it would be the first of hopefully many new drugs born out of the human genome project, and usher in an era of improved healthcare for millions of patients."

Dr. Philip J. Rosenfeld, M.D., Ph.D., Professor of Ophthalmology at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Miami, FL, and a clinical investigator in the study, will present the data on Potentia's behalf.

POT-4 is a complement inhibitor, which shuts down the complement activation cascade that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage and upregulation of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the eye. Based on this mechanism of action, POT-4 holds the potential to be effective against both dry and wet AMD. POT-4 has shown early positive safety results in its Phase I study.

For more information on the presentation at AAO:

Title: Complement C3 Inhibitor POT-4 for AMD

When: Friday, November 7 at 9:01 AM EST

Location: Hall A-3 Session Room

Session: Retina 2008: Vistas and Viewpoints

Section II: AMD, Part II

About AMD

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly of the western world and affects more than 10 million patients in the United States alone. The current standard of care for AMD relies primarily on angiogenesis inhibitors, an approach geared towards the approximately 10-15% of AMD patients with complications resulting from ocular angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels and bleeding in the back of the eye). No drug currently on the market has been approved for the treatment of the remaining patients, who suffer from the so-called "dry" form of the disease.

About the Complement System and POT-4

Complement activation is an inflammatory process involving dozens of plasma proteins, ultimately leading to cell membrane disruption through the membrane attack complex (MAC). Activation of the complement system is an important part of the body's defensive immune response against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. In spite of its defensive function, inappropriate or excessive complement activation can have destructive consequences if left unchecked. Over the past three years, multiple scientific publications have strongly linked variants of genes encoding components of the complement system with a predisposition toward AMD.

POT-4 binds tightly to complement component C3, preventing its participation in the complement activation cascade. As C3 is the central component of all major complement activation pathways, its inhibition effectively shuts down downstream complement activation that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage and upregulation of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGF).

About Potentia

Potentia Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is an early stage biotechnology company focused on developing novel therapeutics and drug delivery technologies to address chronic inflammatory diseases, with an initial emphasis on diseases of the eye such as age-related macular degeneration.

Media Requests:

Paul Kidwell

(617) 296-3854

Contact for Potentia Pharmaceuticals:

Pascal Deschatelets

(502) 569-1053

SOURCE Potentia Pharmaceuticals
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