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NephRx Corp. Awarded New U.S. Patent for Oral Mucositis Agent NX002

KALAMAZOO, Mich., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NephRx Corporation today announced issuance of a new U.S. patent for its novel peptide NX002, which currently is in preclinical development for the treatment of oral mucositis.  Previously, NephRx reported that NX002 had demonstrated significant efficacy when tested in well-validated animal models of oral mucositis.  Mucositis is a debilitating and often dose-limiting condition that affects more than 400,000 cancer patients who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy in the U.S. each year.  Current treatment options are limited.

"Issuance of this most recent patent further confirms the promising utility of NX002 as a potential treatment for oral mucositis," said James Koziarz, President and CEO of NephRx.  "Mucositis is a painful and debilitating side effect of cancer therapy that can be dose-limiting, jeopardizing patients' chances for successful treatment.  We look forward to advancing the detailed NX002 toxicity studies needed to initiate the mucositis clinical program for NX002."

NX002 is a peptide derived from the naturally occurring growth factor AMP-18, which has been shown to stimulate the growth of epithelial cells and to promote mucosal wound healing after injury.  Its multiple biological properties include the ability to protect cells from injury, stimulate cell growth and migration, and increase the accumulation of proteins that bind cells together.  In a study in a well-validated mucositis model, animals treated with NX002 had reduced levels of oral ulceration and a more rapid recovery, with no evidence of toxicity.  NephRx has begun the preclinical toxicology studies of NX002 needed to initiate mucositis clinical trials targeted for late 2011 or early 2012.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark office issued Patent No. 7910543, "Control of growth and repair of gastro-intestinal tissues by gastrokines and inhibitors."  Rights to this patent, which protects NX002 and related compounds, have been exclusively licensed to NephRx by the University of Chicago.

NX002 may also have applications in acute and chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.  It has been shown to stimulate the growth of epithelial cells and to promote mucosal wound healing after injury. 

About Oral MucositisMucositis is an inflammation and ulceration of the lining of the mouth, throat or gastrointestinal tract associated with cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  The pain resulting from mucositis can be so severe that it is cited by patients as a major reason for discontinuing cancer treatment.  In severe cases, mucositis prevents eating and often results in hospitalization.  Mucositis afflicts approximately 15-40% of patients receiving standard-dose chemotherapy and 76-100% of patients receiving chemotherapy for bone marrow transplant.  It affects virtually all patients receiving radiation therapy for head and neck and gastrointestinal cancers.  In total, an estimated 400,000 patients are affected by mucositis each year in the U.S. alone, and the incidence is rising as use of radiation and chemotherapy increases. About NephRxNephRx Corporation is a clinical-stage biotechnology company dedicated to the discovery and development of therapeutic products for the treatment of acute kidney failure and other renal disorders, and diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including mucositis, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.  NX001 is currently in Phase I testing and will be developed initially for the treatment of delayed graft function in kidney transplant patients.  NX002 is in preclinical development as a treatment for oral mucositis, a common, painful and dose-limiting side effect of cancer chemotherapy and radiation therapy.  For more information, visit Corp.

GendeLLindheim BioCom PartnersPhilip A. Long

Barbara Lindheim(269) 838-4785

(212) 918-4650

SOURCE NephRx Corporation
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