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TransMolecular Obtains Patent for Key Biological Target Involved in Chronic Pain


Posted on: 11/09/2004

TransMolecular Obtains Patent for Key Biological Target Involved in Chronic Pain

BIRMINGHAM, Ala., Nov. 9 /PRNewswire/ -- TransMolecular, Inc. today announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 6,573,067 titled, "Nucleic acid encoding sodium channels in dorsal root ganglia." The current invention relates to a novel tetrodotoxin resistant sodium channel, commonly referred to as Nav1.9, and related nucleotides, as well as screening assays for identifying agents useful in treating acute or chronic pain or other hyperexcitability states. U.S. Patent No. 6,573,067 is exclusively licensed to TransMolecular, Inc. under its current agreement with Yale University.

"We are very pleased with the issuance of this patent, especially considering the growing scientific evidence suggesting the importance of Nav1.9 as a key biological switch involved in chronic pain," stated Dr. Matthew A. Gonda, President and CEO. "With the issuance of this patent and the progress we have made to express stable protein in human cell lines, we believe this is an excellent resource to use in high-throughput screens to identify compounds for the treatment and prevention of chronic pain."

It is estimated that approximately 70 million Americans alone suffer from chronic pain with an additional 9 million Americans suffering from cancer- related pain. Of those patients, approximately 5% - 10% experience inadequate pain relief, intolerable side effects, fear of addiction or morbidity associated with existing oral medications and repeated surgeries, creating a significant opportunity for innovative companies to discover novel therapeutics for this large market with unmet medical needs. According to Frontline Strategic Consulting, prescribed pain management is one of the largest pharmaceutical markets in the world and is expected to increase at an annual growth rate of 10% to reach $29.8 billion by 2008.

ABOUT TRANSMOLECULAR, INC.

TransMolecular is a privately held biotechnology company committed to discovering, developing and commercializing novel and proprietary products to diagnose and treat diseases having inadequate pharmaceutical alternatives. In addition to its chronic pain program involving the sodium channel Nav1.9, the Company's other products are based on a chemically synthesized 36 amino acid peptide derived from a naturally occurring protein found in scorpion venom. The Company's lead product, 131I-TM-601 for recurrent glioma, successfully completed a Phase I/II multi-center clinical trial and is scheduled to start a Phase II multi-center North American clinical trial in Q4 2004. The Company's second most advanced product, TM-701 for peripheral solid tumors, is in preclinical development with IND submission scheduled for 2005. The Company's corporate offices and research laboratories are located in Birmingham, Alabama. For more information, visit http://www.transmolecular.com .

CONTACT: Randall B. Riggs

SOURCE TransMolecular, Inc.>
Web Site: http://www.transmolecular.com


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