Aegis Therapeutics and Albany Medical College Expand Collaboration for Novel Oral Anti-Obesity Drug

SAN DIEGO, CA August 26, 2009 – Aegis Therapeutics and Albany Medical College announced today that they have expanded their existing research relationship, entering into a joint commercialization agreement to promote the clinical development of Albany Medical College’s patented anti-obesity peptide drug.  Under this agreement, Aegis will be responsible for developing an appropriate partnership with a pharmaceutical company interested in commercializing this exciting new drug in the obesity and diabetes fields.

In 2000, researchers at Albany Medical College, in Albany NY, under the direction of Dr. Patricia Grasso, made the discovery that very small fragments of leptin, a protein hormone exerting a critical role in curbing appetite, representing less than 6% of the total leptin molecule were responsible for controlling appetite upon injection.  Unexpectedly, subsequent preclinical studies revealed that the serum half-life, relative bioavailability, and pharmaco-dynamics of reduced weight and serum glucose levels upon intranasal delivery of OB-3 peptide in animal models of obesity and diabetes are superior to the corresponding results obtained by subcutaneous or intramuscular injection.

Now, soon to be published studies by Albany Medical scientists have shown that Intravail®-based formulations of the OB-3 peptide provide oral bioavailability in excess of 50% compared to injection.  Oral administration of the OB-3 peptide controls weight gain and glucose levels in animal models of obesity and diabetes.  Additionally, orally administered OB-3 increases blood levels of an accepted indicator of improved insulin sensitivity, offering the eventual prospect of a highly effective pill to treat obesity in humans, with potential applications in treating diabetes as well.

According to Dr. Edward T. Maggio, CEO of Aegis Therapeutics, “Peptide drugs are particularly exciting for chronic disease applications because they metabolize to natural amino acids and thus are intrinsically devoid of the chemical toxicity issues that have plagued many of the earlier anti-obesity and anti-diabetic drugs. The combination of Albany’s highly effective peptide with Aegis’ non-invasive Intravail® peptide delivery technology promises to lead to the first orally-active peptide anti-obesity and diabetes drug.”

Aegis and Albany Medical will now begin seeking appropriate pharmaceutical and biopharma company partners interested in the obesity and diabetes markets.

 About Aegis Therapeutics

Aegis Therapeutics commercializes its patented drug delivery and drug formulation technologies through product specific licenses. Our Intravail® technology enables the non-invasive delivery of a broad range of protein, peptide and non-peptide macromolecular therapeutics that can currently only be administered by injection with exceptionally high and unmatched bioavailability. Our ProTek® technology provides proprietary, easily manufacturable, aqueous dosage forms that are stable at elevated temperature and that reduce unwanted immunogenicity of many protein and peptide therapeutics.

About Albany Medical College

Albany Medical College is part of Albany Medical Center, which also includes the Albany Medical Center Hospital and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc.  The institution has a three-fold mission of patient care, biomedical research and medical education.