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Following Encouraging Results Anthera to Continue IMPACTS Trial for the Prevention of Acute Chest Syndrome in Patients With Sickle Cell Disease
Date:3/24/2009

HAYWARD, Calif., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held biopharmaceutical company developing anti-inflammatory drugs, announced today that after completing its review of safety and efficacy data from the first cohort of 30 patients, an independent Data Safety Monitoring Board (DSMB) has recommended that Anthera's Phase II clinical trial, known as the IMPACTS (Investigation of the Modulation of Phospholipase in Acute ChesT Syndrome) Study can continue under the current protocol based on favorable interim results.

IMPACTS is a Phase II multi-center clinical trial evaluating the safety and effectiveness of intravenous A-001 (varespladib sodium) in preventing the development of acute chest syndrome in hospitalized sickle cell disease patients. Enrolled patients are at-risk for acute chest syndrome based on the combination of pain (vaso-occlusive crisis)¿ fever¿ and elevated serum level of the enzyme (secretory phospholipase or sPLA2). Acute chest syndrome is a life-threatening complication of sickle cell disease and one of the most common causes of death in this population.

"We look forward to continuing the A-001 trial under our original protocol," said Dr. James E. Pennington, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We believe a drug that is deemed to be safe and able to suppress inflammation by inhibiting sPLA2 provides an opportunity for early intervention for patients where current treatment options are limited."

"Today's announcement marks an exciting milestone for Anthera and more importantly, the sickle cell patient population," said Paul F. Truex, President and Chief Executive Officer of Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We are pleased with the continued progress of our varespladib clinical programs for cardiovascular and sickle cell disease where
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SOURCE Anthera Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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