SOURCE: Altair Nanotechnologies Inc.

December 08, 2005 08:00 ET

Altair Nanotechnologies Announces Successful Renalan Test Results

New Animal Testing Data Indicates Superior Performance for Phosphate Control

RENO, NV -- (MARKET WIRE) -- December 8, 2005 -- Altair Nanotechnologies Inc. (NASDAQ: ALTI) today reported the completion of successful animal testing for its Renalan™ product line of nano-structured phosphate binders. Beginning in September 2005, Altairnano commissioned an animal study of Renalan, the latest product in its family of calcium-free and aluminum-free, lanthanum-based compounds used for treatment of elevated phosphate levels in both humans and animals. The animal study was commissioned to validate the safety and efficacy of Renalan in companion animals. Altair has provided the animal study results to potential domestic and international licensees in the animal health care industry as a part of the Renalan license negotiations.

"Test results are positive, validating both the safety and the efficacy of our Renalan product line," commented Altair President and Chief Executive Officer Alan J. Gotcher, Ph.D. "The animal health care market represents tremendous potential market opportunity for Altair. We believe these successful test results will assist our marketing and sales team to license Renalan phosphate binders as a potential drug candidate for companion animals."

As part of the normal development process of a new drug for companion animals, drug developers must demonstrate that the formulation is palatable, that the drug performs as expected, and that it has no detrimental side effects. As part of Renalan's development process, Altairnano commissioned an animal study to examine these three requirements.

Executive Summary: Testing Methodology and Results Conducted by a Third-Party Laboratory

The Renalan product demonstrated effective phosphate binding in this study.

--  There were 3 groups of 4 cats each in the study;
--  The first group was the control group that was fed cat food with no
--  The second group was given a low dose of Renalan (one to five ratio of
    Lanthanum to the phosphate content of the cat food); and
--  The third group was given a high dose of Renalan (one to one ratio of
    Lanthanum to the phosphate of the cat food).

After a testing period of 21 consecutive days, all cats either gained or maintained their weight, indicating that the addition of Renalan to food did not reduce its palatability. Additionally, all animals were observed for side effects, including salivation, vomiting and diarrhea. Results indicated no toxic effects from the treatment. Throughout the study, measurements of general kidney function were conducted, with results showing Renalan having no negative effect on the health or function of the kidney.


The higher dose of Renalan product produced a significant decrease in urinary phosphate to 31% of pretreatment levels. In addition, this dose increases the fecal phosphate to 134% of pretreatment quantities. Both of these results confirm the Renalan product's ability to effectively bind dietary phosphate and prevent its absorption through the intestinal wall.

Market Opportunity for Renalan

Chronic renal disease is a common cause of illness and death in dogs and cats and its prevalence has been estimated to range between 0.5 percent and 7.0 percent in dogs and 1.6 percent and 20 percent in cats. Phosphorus, an element found in nearly all foods, is absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract into the bloodstream. When the kidneys fail, they no longer effectively remove phosphorus, and without effective treatment, hyperphosphatemia may lead to increased rates of death, renal bone disease, hyperparathyroidism and calcification of tissues in both dogs and cats.


Altairnano is a leading supplier and innovator of advanced ceramic nanomaterial technology. Based in Reno, Nevada, Altairnano has assembled a unique team of materials scientists who, coupled in collaborative ventures with industry partners and leading academic centers, have pioneered an array of intellectual property and products.

Altairnano's robust proprietary technology platforms produce a variety of crystalline and non-crystalline nanomaterials of unique structure, performance, quality and cost. The company has scalable manufacturing capability to meet emerging nanomaterials demands. Altairnano's two divisions, Life Sciences and Performance Materials, are focused on applications where its nanotechnology may enable new high growth markets. The Life Sciences Division is pursuing market applications in pharmaceuticals, drug delivery, dental materials and other medical markets. The Performance Materials Division is focused on market applications in advanced materials for paints and coatings; air and water treatment and alternative energy including new lithium ion battery electrode materials. For additional information on Altairnano and its nanomaterials, visit

Forward-Looking Statements

This release may contain forward-looking statements as well as historical information. Forward-looking statements, which are included in accordance with the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, may involve risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the company's actual results and performance in future periods to be materially different from any future results or performance suggested by the forward-looking statements in this release. These risks and uncertainties include, without limitation, the risk the future test results involving Renalan will yield negative results, suggesting that the product is either unsafe or ineffective; that even if future test results are positive, Altairnano will be unable to license the product to a development and marketing partner capable of taking the product to market; and that even if the product goes to market, as a result of low demand or unfavorable pricing, license revenues to Altairnano associated with the product will exceed associated costs of development, productions costs, and other costs. In addition, other risks are identified in the company's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K, as filed with the SEC. Such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release. The company expressly disclaims any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements found herein to reflect any changes in company expectations or results or any change in events.

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