Healthcare Industry News:  Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Biopharmaceuticals Radiology Cardiology

 News Release - February 5, 2007

EPIX Pharmaceuticals Presents Data from Novel MRI Imaging Agent at the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Meeting

Collagen-binding Agent Distinguishes Viable from Non-viable Myocardium (Heart Muscle)

LEXINGTON, Mass.--(HSMN NewsFeed)--EPIX Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: EPIX ) today announced that preclinical data from a novel gadolinium-based collagen-specific contrast agent, EP-3533, was featured in a poster presentation at the Society for Cardiovascular Magnetic Resonance Imaging Tenth Annual Scientific Meeting in Rome, Italy. In a mouse model of myocardial infarction (heart attack), EP-3533-enhanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) was able to differentiate healthy, viable myocardium (heart muscle) from non-viable, infarcted myocardium.

"We are pleased again to be presenting data on a first-in-class, molecular imaging agent for MRI," said Andrew Uprichard, M.D., president of EPIX Pharmaceuticals. "The current study demonstrates that EP-3533 can distinguish viable from non-viable myocardium, a potential large market opportunity in cardiovascular disease imaging. We intend to seek a partner or partners to continue to develop EP-3533 either individually or along with EP-2104R, a novel fibrin-binding thrombus (clot) imaging agent."

Collagen-rich fibrotic scar tissue is created in the myocardium during the healing process after myocardial infarction (MI). In this study, EP-3533 was given to mice 40 days following an MI. Following administration of EP-3533, strong enhancement of scar tissue began 10 minutes after the injection, with peak contrast between healthy and infarcted tissue observed 40 minutes after injection. Image enhancement with EP-3533 lasted for at least one hour. The results of this study show that molecular imaging of collagen with EP-3533 clearly distinguished healthy heart muscle from infarcted heart muscle.

"Fibrosis occurs in a number of cardiovascular diseases, including heart attack and hypertrophy from high blood pressure," said Christopher M. Kramer, M.D., Professor of Radiology and Medicine, University of Virginia Health System and study investigator. "An agent that can effectively bind to collagen enabling clear images of scar tissue may have broad utility across a number of diseases and, as seen in these data, may provide physicians with a novel imaging tool to help manage cardiovascular disease. The next step in evaluating this agent will be to replicate these data in large animal models of myocardial infarction."

About EP-3533

EP-3533 is a novel gadolinium-based collagen-specific magnetic resonance (MRI) imaging agent.

About EPIX Pharmaceuticals

EPIX Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing and commercializing novel pharmaceutical products through the use of proprietary technology to better diagnose, treat and manage patients. The company has five internally-discovered therapeutic and imaging drug candidates currently in clinical trials targeting conditions such as depression, Alzheimer's disease, cardiovascular disease and obesity. These drug candidates include PRX-08066 in Phase 2 clinical development for pulmonary hypertension associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, PRX-03140 which is in a Phase 2a clinical trial in Alzheimer's disease, PRX-00023 which is being developed to treat major depression, and PRX-07034, which is in Phase 1 clinical development for the treatment of obesity and cognitive impairment. The company also has a blood-pool imaging agent (Vasovist(TM)) approved in 30 countries and marketed in Europe. EPIX also has collaborations with leading organizations, including GlaxoSmithKline, Amgen, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, and Bayer Schering Pharma, Germany. For more information about EPIX, please visit the company's website at

This news release contains express or implied forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, that are based on current expectations of management. These statements relate to, among other things, our expectations regarding the progress and results of our clinical development program for EP-3533 and other drug candidates. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees, but are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control, and which could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in these forward-looking statements. In particular, the risks and uncertainties include, among other things: risks that product candidates, including EP-3533, may fail in the clinic or may not be successfully marketed or manufactured; risks relating to the our ability to advance the development of product candidates currently in the pipeline or in clinical trials, any failure to comply with regulations relating to our products and product candidates, including FDA requirements; failure to obtain the financial resources to complete development of product candidates; the risk that the FDA may interpret the results of our studies differently than we have; competing products may be more successful; our inability to interest potential partners in our technologies and products; our inability to achieve commercial success for our products and technologies; the possibility of delays in the research and development necessary to select drug development candidates; the risk that we may be unable to successfully secure regulatory approval of and market our drug candidates; and risks of new, changing and competitive technologies and regulations in the U.S. and internationally. Existing and prospective investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to update or revise the information contained in this press release, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise. For additional information regarding these and other risks that we face, see the disclosure contained in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including our most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q.

Source: EPIX Pharmaceuticals

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