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Sirion Therapeutics Preclinical Studies: Two New Potential Advances in Treatment of Retinal Diseases to be Presented at ARVO

TAMPA, Fla., April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Sirion Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held ophthalmic-focused biopharmaceutical company, announced today that preclinical results for two new compounds targeted for the treatment of retinal diseases will be presented during the 2008 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), April 27 - May 1, Ft. Lauderdale, FL.

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"We are very excited by the potential application of the basic research being conducted by our drug discovery team," said Barry Butler, President and CEO of Sirion Therapeutics, Inc. "Sirion's targeted research approach enables us to rapidly identify new compounds and test their viability in disease models. The two classes of compounds presented at ARVO could have utility in a number of ophthalmic disease states, including macular degeneration, Stargardt's disease and diabetic eye disease."

Sirion's two-fold corporate strategy consists of 1) completing the development and commercialization of late-stage product candidates focused on the front of the eye and 2) development of innovative treatments for back of the eye diseases. The company's new drug application for Durezol(TM) (difluprednate ophthalmic emulsion) 0.05%, a topical steroid for the treatment of postoperative ocular inflammation, has been accepted for filing and granted priority review by the US Food and Drug Administration. Sirion's strong preclinical research program is centered at its dedicated drug discovery facility in San Diego, CA.

[Note: Durezol(TM) is the trademark of Sirion Therapeutics, Inc. and is currently under review by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and has not yet been cleared as the trade name for commercial use.]

New Class of Oxidative Stress Modulator

"Development of Topically Applied Modulators of Ocular Oxidative Stress" (Y. Han et al, program #4546, Wednesday, April 30, 3:15 PM - 3:30 PM, Grand Floridian H) details the researchers' development of a new class of antioxidants and investigation of the ability of these compounds to suppress ocular oxidative stress in vitro and in vivo.

Damage from oxidative stress is thought to play a prominent role in the pathogenesis of various retinal diseases. ROS scavengers and antioxidants have the potential to provide a therapeutic benefit for patients with a variety of ophthalmic diseases.

Small Molecule Non-retinoid Modulator

In "Development of Non-Retinoid Therapeutics for the Treatment of Lipofuscin-Based Retinopathies" (K.B. Phan et al, program #4534, Wednesday, April 30, 3:45 PM - 4:00 PM, Grand Floridian B), the investigators synthesized and screened oral, small molecule non-retinoid modulators (NRMs) for reducing the accumulation of lipofuscin and A2E in the eye.

Excessive accumulation of lipofuscin and a toxic vitamin A-based fluorophore (A2E) has been implicated in the death of retinal pigment epithelium and photoreceptor cells.

Sirion Drug Discovery Facility

The studies presented at ARVO were conducted at Sirion's drug discovery facility in San Diego, CA, a laboratory dedicated to the development of small molecule therapeutics to treat human retinal diseases. The facility has been specifically designed to accommodate a translational research platform in which small molecule compounds are engineered to modulate a specific therapeutic target in vitro and then, ultimately, evaluated for therapeutic efficacy in vivo using appropriate models of human retinal disease.

About Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.

Sirion Therapeutics is a privately held biopharmaceutical company pursuing the discovery, development, and commercialization of products addressing unmet medical needs in the protection and preservation of eyesight. Sirion's pipeline includes four compounds: difluprednate, a topical steroid for post-operative inflammation and uveitis; ganciclovir, a topical antiviral for herpetic keratitis; cyclosporine, a topical immunomodulator for dry eye; and fenretinide, a first-in-class oral vitamin A binding protein antagonist for geographic atrophy associated with dry AMD. For more information, please visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by the management of Sirion Therapeutics. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

SOURCE Sirion Therapeutics, Inc.
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