Allon Therapeutics Inc.
TSX : NPC

Allon Therapeutics Inc.

February 23, 2010 09:00 ET

Allon Presents Peripheral Neuropathy Preclinical Efficacy Data For AL-309

TOKYO, JAPAN--(Marketwire - Feb. 23, 2010) - Allon Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:NPC) today announced preclinical data demonstrating the potential of AL-309, the Company's early-stage drug candidate. AL-309 is being investigated as a treatment for peripheral neuropathy, a debilitating and painful disorder of the peripheral nervous system afflicting millions of people for which there is no effective treatment. Bruce Morimoto, Ph.D., Allon's vice president of drug development, said the preclinical data has shown AL-309 to be effective at reducing nerve damage and pain in animal models for peripheral neuropathy caused by diabetes and cancer chemotherapy, two of the most common causes of the disease.

Dr. Morimoto presented the data at the AsiaTIDES Oligonucleotide and Peptide Technology and Product Development Conference in Tokyo, Japan. AsiaTIDES focuses on technology and product development, manufacturing and partnering in the fields of oligonucleotide and peptide-based therapeutics and diagnostics.

"Our preclinical studies have shown that AL-309 not only reduced the pain symptoms associated with neuropathy, but also decreased nerve damage," said Morimoto. "Furthermore, the characteristics of AL-309 allow it to be developed for multiple routes of administration based on bioavailability studies using oral, intranasal, or subcutaneous application."

"This demonstrated bioavailability for the three dosing routes provides flexibility for development and allows us to choose the most commercially attractive one. The commercial potential for AL-309 is underscored by the fact that drug sales in the U.S. and Europe amount to approximately $4 billion a year to treat neuropathic pain, yet these approved drugs are only moderately effective and have virtually no impact on the nerve damage that causes the pain," said Morimoto.

About peripheral neuropathy

Peripheral neuropathy can result from a variety of medical conditions, the most significant of which is diabetes; from the side-effects of drug treatments, such as cancer chemotherapy; and from viral infections. 

Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to peripheral nerves that detect touch and painful stimuli. Symptoms include tingling, hypersensitivity to light touch or painful stimuli and chronic pain. These sensory problems can also proceed to numbness and loss of sensitivity. Common qualities of the painful neuropathy include burning or coldness, "pins and needles" sensations, numbness and itching.

About Allon's neuroprotective platforms

Allon's neuroprotetive technology platforms are based on two naturally occurring proteins produced by the brain in response to a range of insults. The platforms are activity-dependent neuroprotective protein (ADNP) and activity-dependent neurotrophic factor (ADNF).

Because the two platforms are based on different proteins, the drugs from each are different molecules with different therapeutic mechanisms and distinct commercial opportunities. Clinical-stage drugs based on davunetide are derived from ADNP, while preclinical stage drug AL-309 is derived from ADNF. Davunetide is focused on Alzheimer's disease, cognitive impairment in schizophrenia, and frontotemporal dementia. ADNF drug candidate AL-309 is being developed for the treatment of peripheral neuropathies and is administered orally, intranasally or subcutaneously.

About Allon

Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing treatments for major neurodegenerative conditions. Allon's drug davunetide has demonstrated human efficacy in amnestic mild cognitive impairment, a precursor to Alzheimer's disease, and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia. Allon has Phase II human efficacy programs pursuing large underserved markets, such as Alzheimer's disease and cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, and in orphan markets, such as frontotemporal dementias. The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC" (Neuro Protection Company™) and based in Vancouver. For additional information please visit the Company's website: www.allontherapeutics.com.

Forward Looking Statements

Statements contained herein, other than those which are strictly statements of historical fact may include forward-looking information. Such statements will typically contain words such as "believes", "may", "plans", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipates", "intends", "expects", and similar expressions. While forward-looking statements represent management's outlook based on assumptions that management believes are reasonable, forward-looking statements by their nature are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by them. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainty involved in scientific research and drug development, Allon's early stage of development, lack of product revenues, its additional capital requirements, the risks associated with successful completion of clinical trials and the long lead-times and high costs associated with obtaining regulatory approval to market any product which Allon may eventually develop. Other risk factors include the limited protections afforded by intellectual property rights, rapid technology and product obsolescence in a highly competitive environment and Allon's dependence on collaborative partners and contract research organizations. These factors can be reviewed in Allon's public filings at www. SEDAR.com and should be considered carefully. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements.

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