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NephRx Corp. Awarded U.S. Patent for Use of Novel Growth Factor Peptide NX002 in Inflammatory Bowel Disease

KALAMAZOO, Mich., March 23, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- NephRx Corporation today announced issuance of a new U.S. patent for use of its novel growth factor peptide NX002 as a potential treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).  Animal studies suggest that NX002 may have applications in acute and chronic diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, including 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.  NX002 is currently in preclinical studies for the treatment of IBD and in late preclinical development as a potential treatment for oral mucositis.

“Issuance of this new patent is important given the promising utility of NX002 as a potential treatment for serious disorders of the gastrointestinal system,” said James Koziarz, President and CEO of NephRx.  “We have been encouraged by the efficacy demonstrated by NX002 in models of oral mucositis, and early studies suggest its distinctive mechanism of action also has potential as a novel treatment for inflammatory bowel disease.  This family of painful and disabling conditions affects more than a million patients in the U.S. alone, and despite recent advances, many remain poorly treated.”

NX002 is a peptide derived from the naturally occurring growth factor AMP-18.  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.

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.

About Inflammatory Bowel DiseaseInflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, which cause chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract and lead to a variety of symptoms, including ulceration, pain, vomiting, diarrhea, edema, bleeding and fluid loss.  IBD is a chronic condition with periods of active disease alternating with periods of remission.  It can limit quality of life and may lead to life-threatening complications. IBD is thought to result from an immune reaction of the body against its own intestinal tissue.  It is treated with surgery and with a variety of systemic and local anti-inflammatory and immunomodulatory agents, but many involve potentially serious side effects and efficacy varies.  According to the American College of Gastroenterology, there are more than one million people with IBD in the U.S. alone.  These diseases account for 700,000 physician visits per year and 100,000 annual hospitalizations.

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 late stage preclinical development as a potential treatment for oral mucositis and in preclinical studies for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.  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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