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La Jolla Pharmaceutical Announces Positive Interim Antibody Results,From Riquent Lupus Phase 3 Trial

Data Support Ability of Higher Doses to Further Reduce Antibodies to Double-Stranded DNA

SAN DIEGO, March 08, 2007 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company today announced positive interim antibody results from its ongoing double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized Phase 3 trial of Riquent(R) (abetimus sodium), its drug candidate for systemic lupus erythematosus ("lupus" or "SLE"). Analyses of interim antibody data indicate that patients treated with 900 mg or 300 mg per week doses of Riquent had greater reductions in antibodies to double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) than patients treated with 100 mg per week or placebo. The results showed a significant dose response when comparing all Riquent-treated patients to placebo-treated patients (p < 0.0001), and each Riquent dose group to the placebo dose group (p < 0.0015 for 100 mg, p < 0.0001 for 300 mg and 900 mg).

"We are very excited by these results. The higher the dose, the greater the reduction in antibodies to dsDNA, and the relative magnitude of these reductions is greater than we have seen in previous studies, which used lower doses of Riquent. Higher doses also appear to result in a larger percentage of patients having greater and more consistent antibody reductions over time," said Deirdre Y. Gillespie, M.D., President and CEO of La Jolla Pharmaceutical Company. "In addition, preliminary assessment of the data indicates that Riquent is being as well tolerated at all doses in the ongoing Phase 3 study as in our previous studies. We believe that the greater reductions in antibodies to dsDNA observed with these higher doses of Riquent imply a greater probability of obtaining positive clinical results from the Phase 3 trial."

"These data definitely show an increased biological effect. This will improve the likelihood of detecting clinical effects of the treatment," said Joan Merrill, M.D. of the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. "
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