Healthcare Industry News:  Parkinson's Disease 

Biopharmaceuticals Licensing

 News Release - April 17, 2006

Reata Announces Licensing of Novel Class of Anti-Inflammatory Compounds; Drugs Have Broad Potential Across Multiple Therapeutic Areas

DALLAS, April 17 (HSMN NewsFeed)-- Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ("Reata") today announced the completion of a license agreement with Dartmouth College ("Dartmouth") and The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center ("M. D. Anderson"), providing Reata with exclusive worldwide rights to a promising new class of anti-inflammatory compounds known as the tricyclic bis-enones (TBEs). Preclinical development of lead compounds in this class is underway in the laboratories of Reata and its collaborators.

The TBE compounds were developed by Michael Sporn, the Oscar M. Cohn '34 Professor of Pharmacology and Medicine at Dartmouth Medical School, in collaboration with Gordon Gribble, Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry, and Tadashi Honda, Dartmouth Professor of Chemistry and Research Assistant Professor of Chemistry. These compounds have shown potent anti-inflammatory activity in early preclinical studies. They are potent activators of the transcription factor Nrf2, which regulates the Phase 2 antioxidant response. They have been shown to increase the expression levels of major cytoprotective and antioxidant proteins, including inducible heme oxygenase (HO-1). Activation of Nrf2 and induction of HO-1 are widely regarded as promising therapeutic strategies for treating a variety of inflammation-related medical conditions including cardiovascular disease, asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's Disease, and autoimmune diseases including rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease, and multiple sclerosis. Thus, the TBE compounds have promising potential across multiple therapeutic areas.

"We are pleased that Reata sees the potential that TBEs could have on a myriad of devastating diseases and that our collaboration with Reata and M.D. Anderson has turned into a perfect avenue for bringing fruits of Dartmouth research to the marketplace. We all hope that in the not so distant future thousands of patients will be cured with these promising drugs," said Alla Kan, Director of the Dartmouth Technology Transfer Office.

The TBE compounds are structurally related to Reata's synthetic triterpenoids, which were developed by the same Dartmouth group. Two of the triterpenoids (RTA 401 and RTA 402) are now in clinical development as anti- cancer and cytoprotective agents. In preclinical studies, these triterpenoids have shown the remarkable ability to kill cancer cells while simultaneously protecting normal cells against the toxicities of traditional cancer therapies.

"Reata is very excited to add the tricyclic compounds to our portfolio, and to expand our collaboration with Dartmouth and M. D. Anderson," said Warren Huff, President and CEO of Reata. "These drugs, like our synthetic triterpenoids, appear to hold tremendous medical and commercial potential, and we look forward to conducting further preclinical studies to explore their broad opportunities."

The University of Texas System Board of Regents owns stock in Reata. These arrangements are managed by M. D. Anderson in accordance with its conflict of interest policies.

About Reata

Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on developing novel treatments for cancer, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Founded in 2002, Reata is developing five distinct classes of cancer drugs licensed from leading academic institutions. The company has three drugs in Phase 1 clinical development -- RTA 744 for primary brain cancers, RTA 401 for leukemias, and RTA 402 for solid tumors and lymphoid malignancies. Reata is matching its clinical and preclinical drug development programs with a best-of-class drug discovery platform to identify small molecule chaperones that can induce proper folding of p53, SOD, and Tau, misfolded proteins that are involved in cancer and neurodegenerative disease.


Source: Reata Pharmaceuticals

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