SOURCE: Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

December 02, 2008 08:30 ET

Adeona Pharmaceuticals and National Neurovision Research Institute (NNRI) Collaborate to Test Flupirtine for Retinitis Pigmentosa

NNRI to Fully Fund Research for Retinitis Pigmentosa

ANN ARBOR, MI and OWINGS MILLS, MD--(Marketwire - December 2, 2008) - National Neurovision Research Institute (NNRI), a research support organization for the Foundation Fighting Blindness, the leading non-government funding source for inherited orphan retinal degeneration research and Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (AMEX: AEN) announced today a research collaboration whereby NNRI will fully fund preclinical studies to evaluate the potential of flupirtine for the treatment of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), a blinding eye disease that currently lacks an FDA approved treatment.

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) refers to a group of inherited diseases causing retinal degeneration. The condition affects approximately 100,000 patients in the US. In normal eye function, retina cells lining the inside back wall of the eye are responsible for capturing images from the visual field. RP causes the eye's photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) to die, leading to a gradual decline in vision that ultimately results in blindness. There is no cure or effective therapy for RP.

Adeona and NNRI will test flupirtine in several established animal models with RP at the NNRI Preclinical Assessment Center at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami. Should these studies provide positive results, Adeona and the NNRI will explore proceeding to clinical trials using flupirtine in RP. During 2008, Adeona obtained an option to license issued and pending patents covering flupirtine's use for the treatment of ophthalmic disorders, such as RP, glaucoma and AMD. Through clinical experience in Europe, approximately 27 RP patients have taken flupirtine for up to 5 years.

"Flupirtine offers a potential new approach to effectively treat people affected by retinitis pigmentosa," said Steve Rose, Ph.D., Chief Research Officer, Foundation Fighting Blindness. "RP is among the most difficult to treat and represents a significant unmet medical need. Flupirtine has the potential to change the lives of patients affected by this devastating condition that is a major cause of vision loss."

Nicholas Stergis, Adeona's chief executive officer, commented, "We are pleased to have entered into this agreement with the NNRI, and we are grateful for the National Neurovision Research Institute/Foundation Fighting Blindness' support for this program."

About Flupirtine

Oral flupirtine has been approved as a treatment of pain in Europe since 1984 but has never been approved for any indication in the US. Flupirtine, a non-opiate analgesic, has been used in Europe for post-surgical pain, cancer pain, trauma pain, pain associated with liver disease, and other nocioceptive pain states. According to post-marketing surveillance, flupirtine has been given to more than 1.5 million patients and 2,776 patients have been studied in various controlled clinical trials with flupirtine.

About National Neurovision Research Institute (NNRI)

NNRI is a recently-established non-profit support organization of the Foundation Fighting Blindness (FFB), the leading non-government funding source for inherited orphan retinal degeneration research. The mission of the NNRI is to accelerate the translation of laboratory based research into clinical trials for treatments and cures of retinal degenerative diseases. It is a medical research institute that will obtain support from government agencies, corporations and private foundations. It may also receive royalties or licensing fees from the drug discovery processes and commercialization of new therapies. For further information about the NNRI, please visit http://www.nnri.info

The FFB is a non-profit health foundation that has been incorporated since 1971. Over the years FFB has invested over $140 million to provide seed money for scientific research of diseases of the retina causing blindness. To learn more, visit www.FightBlindness.org.

About Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company that is developing proprietary, late-stage drug candidates for the treatment of autoimmune and central nervous system diseases. Adeona's strategy is to exclusively in-license proprietary, clinical-stage drug candidates and to complete the further clinical testing, manufacturing, regulatory requirements and seek marketing authorizations. Adeona is focused on treating rheumatoid arthritis, dry age-related macular degeneration (AMD), multiple sclerosis (MS), and fibromyalgia. For further information, please visit www.adeonapharma.com.

This release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, including statements regarding Adeona's commercialization plans for its product candidates. Words such as, but not limited to, "look forward to," "believe," "expect," "anticipate," "estimate," "intend," "plan," "targets," "likely," "will," "would," "should," and "could," and similar expressions or words identify forward-looking statements. Such forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations that involve risks, changes in circumstances, assumptions and uncertainties, including that flupirtine may have any effect on retinitis pigmentosa and an effect on patients lives. Adeona is at an early stage of development and may not ever have any products that generate significant revenue. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those reflected in Adeona's forward-looking statements include, among others, a failure of Adeona's product candidates to be demonstrably safe and effective, a failure to obtain regulatory approval for the company's products or to comply with ongoing regulatory requirements, a lack of acceptance of Adeona's product candidates in the marketplace, a failure of the company to become or remain profitable, Adeona's inability to obtain the capital necessary to fund its research and development activities, a loss of any of the company's key scientists or management personnel, and other factors described in Adeona's report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ended September 30, 2008. No forward-looking statements can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from such statements. The information in this release is provided only as of the date of this release, and Adeona undertakes no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release on account of new information, future events, or otherwise, except as required by law.

Contact Information

  • For Further Information, Contact:

    Nicholas Stergis
    Chief Executive Officer
    Adeona Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    (734) 332-7800

    Redington, Inc. (Investor Relations)
    Thomas Redington
    (203) 222-7399
    www.redingtoninc.com

    and

    National Neurovision Research Institute/Foundation Fighting Blindness

    Angela Vasquez (Media Contact)
    Director, Communications & Marketing
    Foundation Fighting Blindness
    (410) 568-0152
    www.fightblindness.org

    Stephen Rose, Ph.D. (Scientific Contact)
    Chief Research Officer
    Foundation Fighting Blindness
    (410) 568-0125
    Email Contact