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ThromboGenics Begins Preclinical Development of Anti-VPAC Antibody for Thrombocytopenia
Date:11/13/2007

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. Thi
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SOURCE ThromboGenics NV
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