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Anthera Pharmaceuticals Selects the Merck BioManufacturing Network as Manufacturing Supplier for A-623, Anthera's Investigational Novel Peptibody Agent
Date:12/14/2010

HAYWARD, Calif., Dec. 14, 2010 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ANTH), a biopharmaceutical company developing drugs to treat serious diseases associated with abnormal auto-immune responses and inflammation, has selected the Merck BioManufacturing Network in the UK, to manufacture the large scale GMP clinical and pre-commercial supplies of A-623, an investigational novel peptibody in development for a number of autoimmune diseases.

"Establishing a rapid and high quality supply of A-623 for our current and future clinical programs is a critical element of our strategic plan and provides a number of potential development options," stated Paul F. Truex, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anthera. "The selection of the Merck BioManufacturing Network provides world-class, large molecule manufacturing capabilities at all stages of production with the necessary expertise to accelerate the development of A-623 in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and other autoimmune diseases."

Steve Bagshaw, Site General Manager of the Merck BioManufacturing Network, said, "We are delighted that Anthera has chosen to work with us, recognizing our many years of development experience in microbial biologics and our capacity that offers appropriate scales for their manufacturing needs."   A-623 will be manufactured in the Billingham, UK facility of the Network.

A-623 is a novel peptibody inhibitor of B-Cell activating factor – a promoter of B-Cell survival in humans.  Abnormal levels of soluble and membrane BAFF and resulting B-Cell elevations have been implicated in a number of autoimmune diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, Sjogren's Syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis. Anthera has previously begun enrollment in PEARL-SC, a Phase 2b clinical study in Lupus patients.  The PEARL-SC study (A Randomized, Double-Blind Phase 2b Stud
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SOURCE Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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