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Expert Opinion Highlights Avigen's AV411 as Potential New,Therapeutic for Neuropathic Pain and Opioid Withdrawal


Focus On AV411's Unique Mechanism of Action and Broad Potential for the Treatment of Neurological Conditions

ALAMEDA, Calif., June 26, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Avigen, Inc. (Nasdaq:AVGN), a biopharmaceutical company innovating therapeutics for the treatment of neurological conditions, announced today that Expert Opinion on Investigational Drugs has published an article featuring Avigen's pipeline product, AV411 (ibudilast), a potential first-in-class, non-opioid oral treatment for the management of multiple neurological indications, including neuropathic pain and opioid withdrawal.

"The work on this medication demonstrates the potential of basic neuroscience research, yielding a novel approach to the management of neuropathic pain, enhancement of opiate analgesia, and the management of opiate withdrawal. It's my hope that all these possible avenues will be pursued in addition to further basic research that may uncover other clinical applications of this putative medication," stated Frank Vocci, M.D., Director, Division of Treatment Research and Development, National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health.

According to the National Pain Foundation, neuropathic pain affects up to four million people in the United States. Existing medications, such as opioids, often have modest efficacy in controlling chronic pain because they are targeted specifically to act on neurons. Additionally, opioid use can lead to dependence and withdrawal. Avigen scientists, led by Kirk Johnson, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Development, in collaboration with researchers at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the University of Adelaide, Australia, are developing AV411 to address this unmet medical need of controlling chronic pain, while avoiding opioid tolerance and withdrawal.

AV411, in early phase II clinical development in patients with diabetic neuropathic pain, modulat
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