SOURCE: Lpath, Inc.

Lpath, Inc.

October 20, 2009 08:00 ET

Lpath Receives Grants From the National Institutes of Health and Publishes Key Paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Paper Is First Ever Published Description of How an Antibody Binds to Its Bio-Active Lipid Target

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - October 20, 2009) - The National Cancer Institute's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program has awarded Lpath (OTCBB: LPTN), the category leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, two Phase 1 grants totaling $0.3 million. This follows a series of other SBIR grants awarded to Lpath totaling $6.9 million, including a $3.0 million Phase 2 bridge grant from the NCI awarded this past June.

"The sustained financial support from the National Institutes of Health SBIR program has significantly helped advance Lpath's first-in-class antibody therapeutics through various phases of preclinical and clinical development," noted Dr. Roger Sabbadini, Lpath's founder and chief scientific officer. "We believe the numerous grants awarded to Lpath validate the potential medical value of our unique technology."

One of the new SBIR grants will partially fund Lpath's drug discovery efforts with Lpathomab™, a monoclonal antibody directed against lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), a bioactive lipid that has been validated as a disease target in cancer, neuropathic pain and fibrosis.

The other SBIR grant will fund X-ray crystallography and other structural work on Lpathomab and other anti-bioactive lipids that Lpath has developed, including sonepcizumab, a humanized mAb that neutralizes S1P (sphingosine-1-phosphate). The systemic formulation of sonepcizumab, called ASONEP™, is nearing completion of a Phase 1 clinical trial in cancer patients, while the ocular formulation, iSONEP™, has recently completed a Phase I clinical trial in wet-AMD (Age-Related Macular Degeneration) patients.

Lpath scientists, in collaboration with Tom Huxford, Ph.D. and colleagues at San Diego State University's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, have recently published a paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) titled, "The Crystal Structure of Sphingosine-1-phosphate in Complex with a Fab Fragment Reveals Metal Bridging of an Antibody and its Antigen." The paper describes how Lpath's sonepcizumab interacts with its target, S1P, in a highly specific manner. Lpath scientist, Jon Wojciak, Ph.D., is first author of the paper.

The abstract and full paper are available online via the PNAS web site at:

Scott Pancoast, Lpath's president and CEO, commented, "This publication in the PNAS journal represents a milestone event for Lpath, as it is the first ever published structural description of how an antibody binds with a bioactive-lipid target. We believe this will help to raise the awareness of the emerging field of lipidomics-based therapeutics and to stimulate more research of its potential in the treatment of cancer and other major diseases."

About Lpath

San Diego-based Lpath, Inc. is the category leader in lipidomics-based therapeutics, an emerging field of medicine that targets bioactive signaling lipids for treating a wide range of human disease. Lpath's ImmuneY2™ drug-discovery engine has the unique ability to generate therapeutic antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to disease. The company is currently advancing three drug candidates, two of which -- ASONEP™ for cancer and iSONEP™ for AMD -- are nearing completion of Phase 1 clinical trials. For ASONEP, Lpath has joined with Merck Serono under a worldwide exclusive license and development partnership. For more information, go to

About Forward-Looking Statements:

Except for statements of historical fact, the matters discussed in this press release are forward looking and reflect numerous assumptions and involve a variety of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond our control and may cause actual results to differ materially from stated expectations. For example, there can be no assurance that milestones will be met, results will be timely, necessary regulatory approvals will be obtained, the proposed treatments will prove to be safe or effective, or required clinical trials will be ultimately successful. Actual results may also differ substantially from those described in or contemplated by this press release due to risks and uncertainties that exist in our operations and business environment, including, without limitation, our limited experience in the development of therapeutic drugs, our dependence upon proprietary technology, our history of operating losses and accumulated deficits, our reliance on research grants, current and future competition, and other risks described from time to time in our filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. We undertake no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to these forward-looking statements to reflect events or circumstances arising after the date hereof.

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