EPIX Pharmaceuticals to Present at the North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference
EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIX), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform, today announced that Martin Mense, Ph.D., principal scientist and head of Cystic Fibrosis biology at EPIX, is scheduled to present at the 22nd Annual North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference on Friday, October 24, 2008. Dr. Mense will participate in a symposium entitled “Building the CF Therapeutic Pipeline,” and the focus of his presentation will be the dual-acting compounds recently discovered at EPIX using the company’s highly efficient discovery platform.
EPIX has a research, development and commercialization agreement with Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT), the nonprofit drug discovery and development affiliate of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. In September 2008, EPIX announced that it received a $500,000 milestone payment from CFFT resulting from the identification of two structural classes of dual-acting compounds. These compounds act as both potentiators and correctors that target CFTR with the delta F508 mutation, the most common mutation of the key protein associated with cystic fibrosis.
It is believed that the dual-acting compounds discovered at EPIX are the first that have been identified that act as both potentiators and correctors of the delta F508 CFTR mutant. Dual-acting compounds may provide disease-altering therapy by combining two different mechanisms of action in a single compound. A corrector increases the number of CFTR proteins at the surface of the cells lining the lung and intestine and a potentiator enhances the activity of CFTR; this combination is believed to restore chloride transport in these cells leading to CFTR function similar to the function of people without cystic fibrosis.
The North American Cystic Fibrosis Conference is a medical and scientific forum that brings together more than 3,700 leading health care professionals and research scientists and is sponsored by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Cystic fibrosis (CF) is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States and nearly 70,000 people worldwide. It results in life-threatening lung infections and serious digestive complications. A mutation in the CFTR gene is one of the key factors that ultimately leads to the symptoms, complications and premature mortality in people with CF.
About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the leading organization focused on curing and controlling cystic fibrosis, has invested more than $320 million in drug research with biotech companies since 1998 to develop therapies to fight CF. As a result, the Foundation has built a drug pipeline with more than 30 promising therapies in development. Virtually all of the approved cystic fibrosis therapies available today were made possible because of the support of the Foundation. Based in Bethesda, Md., the Foundation has 80 chapters and branch offices and supports and accredits a nationwide network of 115 CF care centers that provide treatment and vital resources to patients and families. For more information, visit www.cff.org.
EPIX Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing novel therapeutics through the use of its proprietary and highly efficient in silico drug discovery platform. The company has a pipeline of internally-discovered drug candidates currently in clinical development to treat diseases of the central nervous system and lung conditions. EPIX also has collaborations with leading organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen and Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics.
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