Athera Receives Allowance of Two Key Patents

2009-10-14

Stockholm, Sweden, October 14th, 2009 - Athera Biotechnologies AB, an atherosclerosis R&D company developing novel products for treatment and prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), announced today that the European Patent Office intends to grant two key patents related to the Company's intellectual property on its two pharmaceutical candidates Annexin A5 and PC-mAb.

Following subsequent grant the patents will be registered in the designated European countries, and there are corresponding patent applications pending worldwide. Together, the patents will provide strong protection for pharmaceutical uses of Annexin A5 for the prevention of plaque rupture, as well as use of PC-mAb for the treatment of atherosclerosis and prevention of ischemic cardiovascular disease.

"These European patents strengthens our efforts in building an attractive and competitive pharmaceutical product portfolio in cardiovascular disease," said Carina Schmidt, Athera Biotechnologies Chief Executive Officer. "I am convinced that the product candidates that Athera develops have the potential to fulfil important medical needs. We can see this also in a great interest from the pharmaceutical industry to explore partnering opportunities with Athera for future clinical developments."

Natural antibodies to phosphorylcholine (PC) are known to be cardio-protective and are antibodies to specific surface regions on OxLDL. High levels of antibodies against PC (anti-PC) have been shown to be predictive of less atherosclerosis development in hypertensive patients. Later data from several studies confirm that low anti-PC levels predict an increased risk of CVD and even are linked to increased mortality in Acute Coronary Syndrome patients. The pharmaceutical product candidate, PC-mAb, is developed by Athera in collaboration with Dyax Corp. in Boston, USA (NASDAQ:DYAX). The biomarker product CVDefine®, that has the potential to enable a "theranostics" approach in prevention of cardiovascular disease, is on the market and provides an easy-to-use ELISA kit (CE-marked) for quantitative analysis of anti-PC in human blood.

Athera's second novel product candidate, Annexin A5, is developed for prevention of plaque rupture and athero-thrombosis through binding of the protein to endothelium. The recombinant protein Annexin A5 is intended for the treatment of patients with Acute Coronary Syndrome and who are at imminent risk for Myocardial Infarction. Athera has an agreement with Richter-Helm BioLogics GmbH & Co. KG in Hamburg, Germany, for the process development of the product.

About Athera Biotechnologies
Athera has a unique and in-depth understanding of the immunological components in atherosclerosis, the inflammatory process leading to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The company currently has two biopharmaceutical product candidates aimed at treating patients with acute heart conditions and a biomarker linked to the therapeutic approach. Athera is a Karolinska Development AB (publ) portfolio company and is also a major partner in the highly ranked EU-project CVDIMMUNE, which also includes Karolinska Institute, Imperial College London, Phadia GmbH and TNO.

www.athera.se

Contact:
Carina Schmidt, CEO
Phone: +46 70 552 5115
Mail: c.schmidt@athera.se

About Us

Karolinska Development aims to create value for investors, patients, and researchers by developing innovations from world class science into products that can be sold or out-licensed with high returns. The business model is to: SELECT the most commercially attractive medical innovations; DEVELOP innovations to the stage where the greatest return on investment can be achieved; and COMMERCIALIZE the innovations through the sale of companies or out-licensing of products. An exclusive deal flow agreement with Karolinska Institutet Innovations AB, along with other cooperation agreements with leading Nordic universities, delivers a continuous flow of innovations.

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