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Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Type 2 Diabetes Drug Candidate in Partnership with Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals
Date:12/15/2008

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 15 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: ARNA) announced today that Ortho-McNeil-Janssen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Ortho-McNeil) initiated under their partnership a first-in-human Phase 1 clinical trial of APD597, a novel oral drug candidate discovered by Arena that targets the glucose-dependent insulinotropic receptor (GDIR) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. The GDIR was also discovered by Arena and has the potential to stimulate insulin release in response to increases in blood glucose.

"The GDIR is a promising and exciting target for the treatment of type 2 diabetes. We look forward to continuing to work with Ortho-McNeil on APD597 as it advances in the clinic," stated Jack Lief, Arena's President and Chief Executive Officer.

Ortho-McNeil's Phase 1 program will evaluate the safety, tolerability, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of APD597 in single and multiple ascending dose studies in healthy volunteers. Ortho-McNeil's planned clinical studies will also include the evaluation of patients with type 2 diabetes.

Aboutthe Glucose-Dependent Insulinotropic Receptor (GDIR)

The GDIR is an orphan G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR), discovered by Arena. It is expressed in beta cells, the cells in the pancreas responsible for producing insulin in response to increases in blood glucose. The GDIR signals through a similar intracellular pathway as the GLP-1 receptor, with common downstream effects, but unlike the GLP-1 receptor, the GDIR has proven amenable to small molecule drug discovery. Stimulation of the GDIR is intended to more efficiently promote insulin release by beta cells in response to elevated blood glucose levels. In addition, the GDIR is expressed in cells other than pancreatic beta cells, such as endocrine cells in the gastrointest
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SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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