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ISTA Pharmaceuticals Announces Positive Preliminary Results from,Ecabet Sodium Phase IIb Study

- Pending Final Analysis of the Results, ISTA Plans to Initiate Phase III Studies in Dry Eye in 2008 -

IRVINE, Calif., May 31, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- ISTA Pharmaceuticals, Inc. , today announced positive results from the preliminary analysis of the Company's Phase IIb clinical study of ecabet sodium, which is being developed as a treatment for dry eye syndrome. Patients in the ecabet sodium group achieved a strong trend in the objective sign of blink rate. In addition, patients in the ecabet sodium group reported a strong trend in the Ocular Symptom Disease Index (OSDI) and a positive trend in the subjective assessment of patients' most bothersome symptom. Strong and positive trends are used to confirm observations from previous clinical ecabet sodium studies and to serve as indicators of potential efficacy endpoints in Phase III studies. While ISTA's Phase IIb study was not powered to show statistical significance, ecabet sodium did achieve statistical significance in the OSDI assessment. There were no reports of serious ocular adverse events compared with placebo. Further analyses of the Phase IIb study results are ongoing.

"We are very encouraged by the Phase IIb study's preliminary results, as they support our belief that ecabet has the ability to treat signs and symptoms of dry eye syndrome," stated Vicente Anido, Jr., Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of ISTA. "Our key objectives for this study were to validate our protocol and to screen out non-responders. We were successful in doing both. In addition, we showed positive trending in one sign and one symptom, plus achieved statistical significance in a second symptom, all in a single study. Ecabet sodium may provide advantages over other dry eye products and product candidates, as we believe the drug not only improves the quality of tears by enhancing mucin production, but may increase the quantity of tears produced. Although not
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