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VIA Pharmaceuticals Completes Patient Visits in Phase 2 Carotid Endarterectomy (CEA) Trial

-- Top-Line Data Expected in the Third Quarter --

SAN FRANCISCO, July 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: VIAP), a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular disease, announced today that it has completed the last patient visit in its carotid endarterectomy (CEA) study. The excised carotid plaque tissue will be analyzed to determine VIA-2291's effect on inflammation, and the company remains on track to report top-line data in the third quarter.

VIA-2291 is a potent small molecule drug that targets inflammation in the blood vessel wall, a primary disease process in atherosclerosis. It is being developed as a once-daily, oral drug to potentially decrease the risk of major adverse cardiac events associated with inflammation, including heart attack and stroke.

"Analyzing the carotid plaque collected in the CEA trial is a novel approach to aid investigators in the evaluation of VIA-2291's potential impact on inflammation," said Lawrence K. Cohen, Ph.D., chief executive officer of VIA Pharmaceuticals. "Our Phase 2 program, which includes this trial as well as two others, is designed to provide proof-of-concept evidence supporting the potential effectiveness of VIA-2291 and its further development."

The CEA study enrolled 50 patients and is designed to provide direct evaluation of VIA-2291's effect on inflammation by analyzing plaque removed from the carotid arteries of patients treated with VIA-2291 or placebo. CEA is a surgical procedure to remove plaque from the carotid artery to increase blood flow to the brain in patients with significant blockage in the artery to reduce the risk of stroke. Patients in the study are treated for three months with either VIA-2291 or placebo and then undergo a CEA procedure. The trial will also measure standard serum biomarkers of inflammation to measure reduction of inflammation in treated patients.

The Phase 2 program of VIA-2291 includes three concurrent, ongoing trials testing the compound in a variety of clinical settings. In addition to the CEA study, VIA is conducting an Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) trial, designed to establish dose and safety data in patients with acute coronary syndrome who have experienced a recent heart attack or stroke, and includes measures of leukotrienes, biomarkers of inflammation as well as medical imaging of the coronary vessels in a subset of patients, to evaluate the impact of VIA-2291 on plaque characteristics. VIA has completed enrollment in the ACS trial, and data is expected soon after the CEA data. The FDG-PET study is the third Phase 2 clinical trial. Endpoints in this study include reduction in plaque inflammation following dosing with VIA-2291 as measured with state-of-the-art FDG-PET imaging technology, as well as assessment of standard biomarker measurements of inflammation.

About VIA-2291

VIA-2291 is a selective and reversible inhibitor of 5-LO, which is believed to be a key enzyme in the biosynthesis of leukotrienes (important mediators of inflammation involved in the development and progression of atherosclerosis). Potentially a complement to current standard of care therapies that treat risk factors, such as statins, antiplatelet and blood pressure medications, VIA-2291 is initially targeted to address the secondary prevention market for patients who have already suffered a major adverse cardiac event, but eventually could be beneficial to the broader 15.8 million patients in the U.S. who have coronary artery disease. VIA has exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize VIA-2291. Based upon prior trials of VIA-2291 in more than 1,100 patients, VIA believes that VIA-2291 will be safe and well tolerated in doses currently being administered in the ongoing clinical trials.

About VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the development of compounds for the treatment of cardiovascular disease. VIA is building a pipeline of small-molecule drugs that target a significant unmet medical need: reducing inflammation in the blood vessel wall, which is an underlying cause of atherosclerosis and its complications, including heart attack and stroke. The company's lead drug candidate, VIA-2291, is in multiple Phase 2 clinical studies in patients with cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit:

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release may contain "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or to VIA's future financial performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause VIA's actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from any future results, levels of activity, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by the use of words such as "may," "could," "expect," "intend," "plan," "seek," "anticipate," "believe," "estimate," "predict," "potential," "continue" or the negative of these terms or other comparable terminology. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements since they involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which are, in some cases, beyond VIA's control and which could materially affect actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements.

Factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from current expectations include, but are not limited to:

-- our ability to obtain necessary financing;

-- our ability to control our operating expenses;

-- our ability to recruit and enroll patients for the FDG-PET clinical


-- failure to obtain sufficient data from enrolled patients that can be

used to evaluate VIA-2291, thereby impairing the validity or

statistical significance of our clinical trials;

-- our ability to successfully complete our clinical trials of VIA-2291

on expected timetables and the outcomes of such clinical trials;

-- complexities in designing and implementing cardiovascular clinical

trials using histological examinations, measurement of biomarkers,

medical imaging and atherosclerotic plaque bioassays;

-- the results of our clinical trials, including without limitation, with

respect to the safety and efficacy of VIA-2291;

-- the outcome of any legal proceedings;

-- our ability to obtain necessary FDA approvals;

-- our ability to successfully commercialize VIA-2291;

-- our ability to obtain and protect our intellectual property related to

our product candidates;

-- our potential for future growth and the development of our product


-- our ability to form and maintain collaborative relationships to

develop and commercialize our product candidates;

-- general economic and business conditions; and

-- the other risks described under Item IA "Risk Factors" in our Annual

Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2007 on

file with the SEC.

All forward-looking statements attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth above. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and VIA undertakes no obligation to update publicly any of these statements in light of new information or future events.

SOURCE VIA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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