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Repligen Receives Orphan Drug Designation from the FDA for RG2833 for Friedreich's Ataxia

WALTHAM, Mass., May 24 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Repligen Corporation (Nasdaq: RGEN) announced today that the Office of Orphan Products Development of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted orphan drug designation to RG2833, a selective histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC-3) inhibitor for the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia.  Orphan drug designation qualifies Repligen to receive seven years of marketing exclusivity in the United States if the company is the first to obtain marketing approval for RG2833 for the treatment of Friedreich's ataxia.  This designation may also qualify Repligen to benefit from certain tax credits and a waiver of the company's obligation to pay the FDA application user fees for this product as required by the Prescription Drug User Fee Act. The U.S. Orphan Drug Act provides incentives for companies developing and marketing therapies for rare diseases, defined as those affecting fewer than 200,000 Americans.  There are approximately 15,000 people worldwide with Friedreich's ataxia.

"We are very pleased to receive Orphan Drug Designation for our Friedreich's ataxia program," stated Walter C. Herlihy, President and Chief Executive Officer of Repligen.  "RG2833 is the first compound that targets activation of the defective gene responsible for Friedreich's ataxia.  If this approach is successful, it has the potential to significantly impact patients' lives."

Earlier this month, we filed an Investigational New Drug Application with the FDA for a Phase 1 study of RG2833 to evaluate the pharmacokinetic and safety profile of RG2833 in up to 40 healthy volunteers.  This study will also evaluate the pharmacodynamic response of various biomarkers in peripheral blood to RG2833.  RG2833 is a new chemical entity, which is the subject of a composition of matter patent application, which if allowed, will remain in force until 2029 prior to any patent term extensions.  RG2833 has been developed in collaboration with scientists from The Scripps Research Institute and a broad network of international scientific thought leaders.  Repligen's research efforts have been partially funded with grants from the Muscular Dystrophy Association, the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance, GoFAR and the National Ataxia Foundation.  We are also evaluating HDAC-3 inhibitors in animal models of Huntington's disease and cognition.

About Friedreich's Ataxia

Friedreich's ataxia is an inherited neurodegenerative disease caused by a single gene defect that results in inadequate production of the protein frataxin.  Low levels of frataxin lead to degeneration of both the nerves controlling muscle movements in the arms and legs and the nerve tissue in the spinal cord.  Symptoms of Friedreich's ataxia typically emerge between the ages of five and fifteen and often progress to severe disability, incapacitation or loss of life in early adulthood.  Preclinical studies have shown that specific HDAC inhibitors increase production of the protein frataxin, and may have the potential to arrest disease progression in patients with Friedreich's ataxia.  At present, there are no effective treatments for Friedreich's ataxia.

About Repligen Corporation

Repligen Corporation is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutics for neurological disorders.  In addition, we are the world's leading supplier of recombinant Protein A, the sales of which partially fund the advancement of our development pipeline while supporting our financial stability.  Repligen's corporate headquarters are located at 41 Seyon Street, Building #1, Suite 100, Waltham, MA 02453.  Additional information may be requested from

This press release contains forward-looking statements which are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. The forward-looking statements in this release do not constitute guarantees of future performance. Investors are cautioned that statements in this press release which are not strictly historical statements, including, without limitation, statements regarding current or future financial performance and position, management's strategy, plans and objectives for future operations, plans and objectives for product development, plans and objectives for present and future clinical trials and results of such trials, plans and objectives for regulatory approval, litigation, intellectual property, product development, manufacturing plans and performance such as the anticipated growth in the monoclonal antibody market and our other target markets and projected growth in product sales, constitute forward-looking statements. Such forwardlooking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated, including, without limitation, risks associated with: the success of current and future collaborative relationships, the market acceptance of our products, our ability to compete with larger, better financed pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, new approaches to the treatment of our targeted diseases, our expectation of incurring continued losses, our uncertainty of product revenues and profits, our ability to generate future revenues, our ability to raise additional capital to continue our drug development programs, the success of our clinical trials, our ability to develop and commercialize products, our ability to obtain required regulatory approvals, our compliance with all Food and Drug Administration regulations, our ability to obtain, maintain and protect intellectual property rights for our products, the risk of litigation regarding our intellectual property rights, our limited sales and manufacturing capabilities, our dependence on third-party manufacturers and value added resellers, our ability to hire and retain skilled personnel, our volatile stock price, and other risks detailed in Repligen's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Repligen assumes no obligation to update any forward-looking information contained in this press release or with respect to the announcements described herein.

SOURCE Repligen Corporation
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