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NIST Awards $2 Million to Velcura Therapeutics, Inc. for Innovative Technology R&D - Dual-Action Therapies for Bone Disease
Date:9/27/2007

ANN ARBOR, Mich., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has selected Velcura Therapeutics, Inc. as an award winner in the Commerce Department's Advanced Technology Program (ATP), a peer-reviewed competition. NIST announced today that $2 million was awarded to the early-phase Michigan biotechnology company developing drug therapies to treat osteoporosis, bone cancer, bone fractures, and other bone disorders.

Velcura scientists have discovered a family of small molecules that possess characteristics of dual-action therapies, both stimulating bone formation and inhibiting loss. "These molecules are rapidly cleared from the blood stream, so these new drugs offer low systemic exposure, reduced off- target effects and extended time on target resulting in increased efficacy," according to Michael W. Long, PhD, president and CEO of Velcura Therapeutics, Inc. "This makes them effective agents for cancer patients and Velcura will start clinical trials I Multiple Myeloma patients for its first therapy, VEL- 0230, in early 2008."

Velcura's ATP funding supports the development of improved, or second- generation, molecules for use in bone diseases requiring long-term therapy, such rheumatoid arthritis or osteoporosis. "Velcura will use the ATP funding to invent new types of therapeutic molecules that retain the advantages of the current generation of compounds and their dual-action effects," Dr. Long added.

The ATP choose Velcura for its innovative approaches both at the level of medicinal chemistry and in the area of bone cell assay development. Velcura's new therapy could have a major economic impact on the treatment of many bone diseases such as osteoporosis that affects more than 10 million Americans. Current projections indicate a more than $60 billion market worldwide for diagnosis and treatment of the bone disease by 2020.

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