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ThromboGenics Begins Preclinical Development of Anti-VPAC Antibody for Thrombocytopenia

LEUVEN, Belgium, November 14 /PRNewswire/ --

- Key Research Findings Published in the Leading Medical Journal `Blood' Validate Drug Target

ThromboGenics NV (Euronext Brussels: THR), a biotechnology company focused on vascular disease, announces today that it will progress with the development of its novel anti-VPAC(1) antibody for the treatment of thrombocytopenia, including chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.

Thrombocytopenia, which is the reduced number of platelets in blood, is a common severe side effect of chemotherapy and increases the risk of bleeding and severity of haemorrhage, therefore causing the delay or even discontinuation of treatment in cancer patients. There is a high medical need to find a therapeutic that could reduce thrombocytopenia by accelerating platelet production. Blood transfusion, the current standard of care for this condition, offers only a temporary solution for these patients and is associated with significant cost and risk.

Researchers at the University of Leuven and ThromboGenics have developed a novel therapeutic approach, showing that the inhibition of VPAC could stimulate the production of platelets. ThromboGenics has now identified and selected a lead antibody against VPAC to enter preclinical development. VPAC is a receptor present at the surface of bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes, which, when mature, produce platelets. Research published yesterday in Blood describes how the inhibition of VPAC could promote megakaryocyte differentiation. Blood is the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Prof. Desire Collen, CEO and Chairman of ThromboGenics, commented: "Thrombocytopenia is a severe complication of cancer patients receiving chemotherapy, and for which there is little therapeutic alternative. I am very pleased to advance our thrombocytopenia programme to preclinical development, which I hope will confirm the potential of our approach published in Blood. This highlights the novelty of our programme compared to other agents in development for treatment of this serious condition."


Blood First Edition Paper, prepublished online, 13 November 2007, PACAP and its receptor VPAC1 regulate megakaryocyte maturation: therapeutic implications.

Kathleen Freson, Karen Peeters, Rita De Vos, Christine Wittevrongel, Chantal Thys, Marc F Hoylaerts, Jos Vermylen and Chris Van Geet.

(1) VPAC: Vasoactive Intestinal Peptide/Pituitary Adenylyl Cyclase Activating Peptide Receptor-1

About ThromboGenics

ThromboGenics is a biotechnology company focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of a range of vascular diseases. The Company has several programs in Phase II clinical development including microplasmin, which is being evaluated as a treatment for vitreoretinal disorders and as a thrombolytic agent for vascular occlusive diseases, including acute stroke. ThromboGenics is also developing novel antibody therapeutics in collaboration with BioInvent International; these include TB-402 (Anti-Factor VIII), scheduled to enter Phase II clinical development in 2008, and TB-403 (Anti-PlGF), which is expected to proceed to Phase I clinical trials by the end of 2007. ThromboGenics has built strong links with the University of Leuven and has exclusive rights to certain therapeutics developed at the University. ThromboGenics is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and has subsidiaries in Dublin, Ireland and New York, U.S. The Company is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Brussels under the symbol THR. More information is available at

Important information about forward-looking statements

Certain statements in this press release may be considered "forward-looking". Such forward-looking statements are based on current expectations, and, accordingly, entail and are influenced by various risks and uncertainties. The Company therefore cannot provide any assurance that such forward-looking statements will materialize and does not assume an obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or any other reason. Additional information concerning risks and uncertainties affecting the business and other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from any forward-looking statement is contained in the prospectus.

For further information please contact:


Prof Desire Collen, CEO

Patrik De Haes, COO

Tel: +32(0)16-34-61-94

Citigate Dewe Rogerson

Valerie Auffray/ David Dible / Amber Bielecka

Tel: +44(0)207-638-95-71

SOURCE ThromboGenics NV
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