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Potentia Pharmaceuticals' POT-4 Drug Candidate for Age-Related Macular Degeneration Successfully Completes Phase I Clinical Trial - Prepares for Phase II
Date:5/4/2009

inhibitor, which shuts down the complement activation cascade that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage and upregulation of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) in the eye. Based on this mechanism of action, POT-4 holds the potential to be effective against both dry and wet AMD.

About AMD

AMD is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly of the western world and affects more than 10 million patients in the United States alone. The current standard of care for AMD relies primarily on angiogenesis inhibitors, an approach geared towards the approximately 10-15% of AMD patients with complications resulting from ocular angiogenesis (growth of new blood vessels and bleeding in the back of the eye). No drug currently on the market has been approved for the treatment of the remaining patients, who suffer from the so-called "dry" form of the disease.

About the Complement System and POT-4

Complement activation is an inflammatory process involving dozens of plasma proteins, ultimately leading to cell membrane disruption through the membrane attack complex (MAC). Activation of the complement system is an important part of the body's defensive immune response against pathogens such as bacteria and viruses. In spite of its defensive function, inappropriate or excessive complement activation can have destructive consequences. Over the past three years, multiple scientific publications have strongly linked variants of genes encoding components of the complement system with a predisposition toward AMD.

POT-4 binds tightly to complement component C3, preventing its participation in the complement activation cascade. As C3 is the central component of all major complement activation pathways, its inhibition effectively shuts down downstream complement activation that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage and upregulation of angio
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SOURCE Potentia Pharmaceuticals
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