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Ariel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Acquires Novel Compound for Acute Migraine

BROOMFIELD, Colo., Sept. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ariel Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a private, specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of products for acute central nervous system (CNS) diseases and trauma, announced today that it has in-licensed its lead product, AP-1531, for the treatment of acute migraine attacks, from the specialist healthcare company BTG International Ltd (LSE: BGC).

While the precise cause of migraines is not fully understood, changes in vascular tone and inflammatory processes appear to be key contributing factors.  Prostaglandins are naturally existing molecules that are integral components of both vascular and inflammatory reactions in the central and peripheral nervous systems.   There is evidence to demonstrate that prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) binding to the EP4 receptor causes dilation of small blood vessels in the brain, while leaving coronary and pulmonary arteries unaffected, and can stimulate a variety of inflammatory mechanisms.  AP-1531 is a potent and selective EP4 receptor antagonist that specifically targets PGE2-EP4 binding which may treat migraines. AP-1531 has shown promising results  in several disease models of migraine and acute pain and inflammation.  

"We are extremely pleased with the data from six Phase I studies on AP-1531 and are confident this approach will yield positive results as we initiate a Phase 2 study in migraine patients in 2012," said Steve Orndorff, President and CEO of Ariel Pharmaceuticals.  "Given that the current standard of care for moderate to severe migraines can take up to 90 minutes to provide relief and works temporarily or not at all in many patients, in addition to having potentially serious side effects, we're committed to developing a safer and more efficacious alternative that will provide better quality care to patients.  We believe AP-1531 will validate our business model of in-licensing clinic-ready drugs in acute care clinical indications to expeditiously build value for our shareholders."

Episodic migraine headaches affect more than 10% of the world population and are among the top four disabling neurological conditions.  Migraines account for an estimated 30 million days of lost productivity at a cost of up to $17 billion per year in the U.S.  Almost half of migraine patients suffer severe pain and require bed rest.  Currently, the most common migraine therapies are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and triptans (5-HTIB/1D agonists).  Shortcomings of these drugs include failure to work in a significant percentage of patients, slow speed of activity, recurrence of pain and potentially debilitating side effects, including cardiovascular and gastrointestinal toxicity.

About Ariel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Ariel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a private, specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of drugs that improve quality of life for patients with acute neurological disorders and trauma.  Ariel is developing three drugs intended to meet unmet medical needs in migraine, hemorrhagic shock and post-operative cognitive decline.  The company's business strategy is based on in-licensing clinic-ready drugs in acute care clinical indications that have well-defined efficacy endpoints and where there is little to no competition in order to enable Ariel to rapidly build shareholder value.  For more information, please visit:

Ariel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Steve Orndorff, PhD
President & CEO

Media Contact:
Tiberend Strategic Advisors, Inc.
(212) 827-0020
Andrew Mielach
Jason Rando

SOURCE Ariel Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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