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Vantia Therapeutics Appoints Rachel Morten as Head of Regulatory Affairs

SOUTHAMPTON, England, April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- Vantia Therapeutics, a company developing novel small molecule drugs targeting large underserved medical markets, today announces the appointment of Rachel Morten as Head of Regulatory Affairs.

Rachel has more than 24 years experience in global regulatory affairs and product development in the pharmaceutical and animal health industries. Most recently an independent regulatory affairs consultant, Rachel has also served as Senior Director, Group Head Regulatory Affairs for the international CRO Averion International Ltd (previously Hesperion). Previously Rachel founded ChapelPharma a regulatory consultancy that was acquired by Hesperion in 2004.

Dr Jim Phillips, CEO of Vantia Therapeutics, said: "Rachel brings to Vantia years of experience across all regulatory aspects of the global development of new chemical entities from pre-clinical through to Phase III. She is an excellent addition to our already high-quality management team at Vantia and I look forward to working with her as our clinical and pre-clinical pipeline continues to mature."

Rachel Morten, Head of Regulatory Affairs, said: "Vantia has already made great progress with its pipeline, with the Phase IIa trial of VA106483 for nocturia recently completed and dosing complete in the Phase I trial of VA111913 for dysmenorrhoea. These products target conditions which affect millions of people and are poorly served by current treatments. It is the quality of these programmes, the pre-clinical pipeline and the drug discovery engine that made the opportunity of joining the team at Vantia so exciting."

Notes to Editors

About Vantia Therapeutics:

Vantia Therapeutics is an emerging pharmaceutical company developing novel, small molecule drugs targeting large, underserved medical markets. Its rapidly advancing clinical pipeline includes VA106483 for nocturia and VA111913 for dysmenorrhoea, product candidates which directly target the causes of conditions that together affect many millions of people, are poorly treated and represent billion dollar markets. Vantia was spun out from Ferring Research Ltd in 2008 and its pipeline is driven by the proven small molecule drug discovery and development capabilities of that unit and Vantia's experienced management team. Vantia's strategy is to develop candidates to Phase II proof-of-concept and then commercialise through partnerships. The Company is well-funded and backed by specialist life science investors MVM Life Science Partners, SV Life Sciences and Novo A/S.

About VA106483 and nocturia:

VA106483 is a novel small molecule drug candidate in Phase II trials to treat nocturia, a common condition that causes sufferers to wake frequently during the night in order to urinate, thus interrupting sleep. VA106483 acts directly in the collecting ducts of the kidney by binding to vasopressin 2 receptors, decreasing urine volume. Clinical data indicate that VA106483 is generally well tolerated and an effective anti-diuretic that increases urine concentration and reduces urine output.

Vantia's initial indication for VA106483 is nocturia. A Phase II clinical programme has been designed and trials are underway, with initial results expected mid 2009.

Nocturia is commonly associated with benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) where it is estimated to affect up to 70% of BPH patients. With estimates putting the number of BPH/nocturia sufferers at 55 million in the seven largest markets world wide, and only 10% of these believed to be receiving any kind of treatment, it is a clear area of unmet medical need and estimated to be worth in excess of US$500m per annum. This market opportunity presents only part of that of nocturia which may result from other conditions such as overactive bladder.

About VA111913 and dysmenorrhoea:

VA111913 is an oral small molecule drug candidate in Phase I clinical development for prevention and treatment of dysmenorrhoea, a condition characterized by abnormal contractions of the uterus during menstruation causing severe pain. VA111913 acts by blocking vasopressin 1a receptors in smooth muscle in the uterus wall, which in response to elevated vasopressin levels leads to dysmenorrhoea. VA111913 has demonstrated in preclinical trials it can normalise smooth muscle contraction thereby offering the potential for it to be the first licensed drug that directly targets the cause of this condition in the uterus.

A Phase I trial with VA111913 is underway and expected to report during H1 2009, with Phase II proof of concept studies expected to start in H2 2009, involving up to 150 patients and completing in H2 2010.

Dysmenorrhoea affects a large number of women for whom there are currently no targeted therapies; treatments that are in common use however include over-the-counter painkillers (e.g. naproxen or ibuprofen) or oral contraceptives used 'off-label'. It is estimated that the market opportunity for a targeted drug for the prophylaxis and treatment of dysmenorrhoea is approximately US$1 billion per year.

    Contact details:

    Vantia Therapeutics

    Dr Jim Phillips, CEO              +44(0)238-076-3433         +44(0)7515-397176

    Citigate Dewe Rogerson
    Chris Gardner / Mark Swallow / Helena Galilee
    +44(0)207-638-9571 / /

SOURCE Vantia Therapeutics
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