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Synvista Therapeutics Presents New Preclinical Data Demonstrating the Value of Haptoglobin Genotype Testing In Diabetes at ACC Scientific Sessions

Results of Mouse Model of Diabetes with Haptoglobin 2-2 Genotype Show Modification of HDL Structure and Defective Reverse Cholesterol Transport

MONTVALE, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Synvista Therapeutics, Inc. (Amex: SYI) announces data from a study of diabetic mice with the Haptoglobin 2-2 genotype that show impairment in the clearance of the Haptoglobin (Hp)-Hemoglobin (Hb) complex may result in a modification of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) structure and defective reverse cholesterol transport. These findings, which were presented today at the 57th Annual Scientific Sessions of the American College of Cardiology in Chicago, suggest the value of Haptoglobin testing in people with diabetes in order to ensure more successful treatment in the prevention of cardiovascular events (such as heart attack and stroke).

"These data from a validated animal model support our belief that Haptoglobin testing may help physicians tailor optimal therapy for patients with diabetes who may be at risk for cardiovascular events. The transport of cholesterol out of atherosclerotic plaque may be an important mechanism of stroke and heart attack prevention. Characterizing the functional impairment of HDL may help us understand how to intervene in Hp2-2 diabetic patients," said Noah Berkowitz, M.D., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Synvista Therapeutics, which is developing a diagnostic product to identify Haptoglobin types. "As with previous studies of diabetic patients exhibiting markedly elevated cardiovascular risk, we believe that these findings support the notion of testing for Haptoglobin and treating the appropriate diabetic patients (Hp2-2) with vitamin E."

In the study, researchers assessed clearance of Hb by Hp in diabetic mice that were also tested for Hp type. The study showed that in these mice, the combination of diabetes and the Hp2-2 genotype was associated with a two-to-three-fold increase in the half-life of the Hp-Hb complex compared to other Hp types. Further, a greater than 10-fold increase was found in the association of Hp-2-Hb and HDL in these mice. The study also demonstrated that vitamin E supplementation prevented the impairment of reverse cholesterol transport in diabetic mice with the Hp2-2 genotype.

About Haptoglobin 2-2

The Hp protein is polymorphic in humans, occurring with two alleles, 1 and 2, existing at the Hp genetic locus. Three phenotypes linked to the three genotypes, Hp 1-1, Hp 1-2 and Hp 2-2, can be identified using an ELISA assay. In multiple independent prospective longitudinal studies of more than 20,000 individuals, it has been established that the Haptoglobin genotype is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, with a specific relationship to patients with diabetes mellitus. After accounting for conventional cardiovascular risk factors and diabetes characteristics in these studies, research has demonstrated that there is a 2-5 fold increased risk of cardiovascular disease in people with both diabetes and the Hp 2-2 genotype (approximately 40 percent of all diabetes patients).

About Synvista Therapeutics

Synvista Therapeutics is a biopharmaceutical company developing drugs to treat and prevent cardiovascular disease and nephropathy in people with diabetes. The Company believes it has identified several product candidates that represent novel approaches to some of the largest pharmaceutical markets. The Company's portfolio includes orally bioavailable, organoselenium mimics of glutathione peroxidase. These compounds metabolize lipid peroxides and have the potential to limit myocardial damage subsequent to a myocardial infarction. The Company is developing a clinical diagnostic test, based on cardiovascular risk assessment, using Haptoglobin characterization, to identify patients at high risk for cardiovascular complications of diabetes.

Synvista Therapeutics also is developing alagebrium, a proposed breaker of AGEs for the treatment of diastolic heart failure. This disease represents a rapidly growing market of unmet medical need, particularly common among diabetic patients. Alagebrium has demonstrated relevant clinical activity in two Phase 2 clinical trials in heart failure, as well as in animal models of heart failure and nephropathy, among others. Alagebrium has been tested in approximately 1,000 patients in multiple Phase 1 and Phase 2 clinical trials, allowing Synvista Therapeutics to assemble a sizeable human safety database. For more information, please visit the Company's website at

Any statements contained in this press release that relate to future plans, events or performance are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, the risks associated with the events described in this press release, future clinical development of Synvista Therapeutics' product candidates, and other risks identified in Synvista Therapeutics' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Further information on risks faced by Synvista are detailed under the caption "Risk Factors" in Synvista Therapeutics' Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006. These filings are available on a website maintained by the Securities and Exchange Commission at The information contained in this press release is accurate as of the date indicated. Actual results, events or performance may differ materially. Synvista Therapeutics undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revision to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

SOURCE Synvista Therapeutics, Inc.
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