SOURCE: AVI BioPharma, Inc.

AVI BioPharma, Inc.

October 11, 2010 13:00 ET

AVI BioPharma Announces Data Presentations for RNA-Based Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Drug Candidate at 15th International Congress of the World Muscle Society

BOTHELL, WA--(Marketwire - October 11, 2010) -  AVI BioPharma, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVII), a developer of RNA-based drugs, today announced data presentations for AVI-4658, the Company's investigational exon skipping therapy for the treatment of Duchenne muscular dystrophy, at the 15th International Congress of the World Muscle Society taking place Oct. 12-16, 2010 in Kumamoto, Japan.

Steve Shrewsbury, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and Senior Vice President of Preclinical, Clinical and Regulatory Affairs at AVI, will present during the oral presentation session O.15-18, New Therapeutic Targets for Neuromuscular Disorders 2, at 11 a.m. JST on Friday, Oct. 15. The presentation, O.16, is titled "Current progress and preliminary results with the systemic administration trial of AVI-4658, a novel phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer (PMO) skipping dystrophin exon 51 in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD)." He will be presenting some of the final clinical data from the recently completed study in the UK.

Dr. Sebahattin Cirak, Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, UK, will present during poster session 3, Therapeutic approaches; gene therapy; cell therapy; pharmacological therapy, on Friday, Oct. 15. The presentation, 3.08, is titled "Induction of dystrophin in DMD patients by antisense oligonucleotide AVI-4658 restores the dystrophin glycoprotein complex." The data presented is from the single intramuscular dose study conducted in 2008 in London.

Dr. Shrewsbury will also present during poster session 3, Therapeutic approaches; gene therapy; cell therapy; pharmacological therapy, on Friday, Oct. 15. The presentation, 3.07, is titled "Preclinical safety of AVI-4658, a phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer (PMO) being developed to skip exon 51 in Duchenne muscular dystrophy."

Dr. Francesco Muntoni, Professor of Pediatric Neurology and Head of the Dubowitz Neuromuscular Centre at the UCL Institute of Child Health, London, England, will present a late-breaking oral abstract at 2 p.m. JST on Saturday, Oct. 16. The presentation is titled "Systemic administration of AVI-4658, a Phosphorodiamidate Morpholino Oligomer (PMO) to induce exon 51 skipping, is well tolerated and restores dystrophin expression in Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) boys in a dose dependent manner."

Dr. Shrewsbury's presentations will be posted on the AVI BioPharma Web site in the "Our Programs" section after their respective sessions are completed.

AVI-4658 is AVI's lead drug candidate being developed as a systemically administered treatment for a substantial subgroup of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic muscle wasting disease caused by the absence of functional dystrophin.

About AVI BioPharma

AVI BioPharma is focused on the discovery and development of novel RNA-based therapeutics for rare and infectious diseases, as well as other select disease targets. Applying pioneering technologies developed and optimized by AVI, we are able to target a broad range of diseases and disorders through distinct RNA-based mechanisms of action. Unlike other RNA-based approaches, our technologies can be used to directly target both messenger RNA (mRNA) and precursor messenger RNA (pre-mRNA) to either down-regulate (inhibit) or up-regulate (promote) the expression of targeted genes or proteins. By leveraging our highly differentiated RNA antisense-based technology platform, we have built a pipeline of potentially transformative therapeutic agents, including a clinical stage Duchenne muscular dystrophy candidate and anti-infective candidates for influenza and hemorrhagic fever viruses. For more information, visit www.avibio.com

Forward-Looking Statements and Information

This press release contains statements that are forward-looking, including statements about the development of AVI 4658, other antisense-based technology and the efficacy, potency and utility of our product candidates in the treatment of rare and infectious diseases, and its potential to treat a broad number of human diseases. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond AVI's control. Known risk factors include, among others: clinical trials may not demonstrate safety and efficacy of any of AVI's drug candidates and/or AVI's antisense-based technology platform; any of AVI's drug candidates may fail in development, may not receive required regulatory approvals, or be delayed to a point where they do not become commercially viable. Any of the foregoing risks could materially and adversely affect AVI's business, results of operations and the trading price of its common stock. For a detailed description of risks and uncertainties AVI faces, you are encouraged to review the official corporate documents filed with filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. AVI does not undertake any obligation to publicly update its forward-looking statements based on events or circumstances after the date hereof