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Anthera Pharmaceuticals Advances Global Development Strategy for Varespladib in Patients With Acute Coronary Syndrome With the Initiation of FRANCIS Trial
Date:8/25/2008

SAN MATEO, Calif., Aug. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing anti-inflammatory drugs, today announced the initiation of the FRANCIS (Fewer Recurrent Acute coronary events with Near-term Cardiovascular Inflammation Suppression) clinical trial designed to examine the impact of varespladib when administered to patients within 96 hours of an Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) event.

The FRANCIS trial is designed to assess the impact of oral varespladib on known biological markers of cardiovascular risk. It will enroll up to 500 patients that will be treated for a minimum of six months. The study will be conducted at sites in North America and Europe. FRANCIS will provide insight into the prevention of secondary Major Adverse Cardiovascular Events (MACE) over the duration of the trial. In this study, MACE is defined as a composite endpoint consisting of cardiovascular death, non-fatal stroke, non-fatal myocardial infarction, unstable angina, and a subset of revascularization following the initial event. During the course of the study, patients will receive therapeutic standard of care in addition to high dose Lipitor(R) (atorvastatin). In previous clinical trials, varespladib, a potent and highly selective inhibitor of secretory phospholipase A2 (sPLA2), has demonstrated marked improvements in independent markers of cardiovascular risk including, a near complete suppression of the target enzyme sPLA2, a clinically meaningful and statistically significant reduction in "bad" LDL cholesterol, and a reduction in C-reactive protein, a known marker of inflammation.

"We are pleased with the continued progress of our varespladib cardiovascular program targeting secretory phospholipase A2," said Paul Truex, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "The FRANCIS trial was designed with input from global regulatory agencies and industry experts and represents the next key
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SOURCE Anthera Pharmaceuticals Inc.
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