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Thrasos Therapeutics Issued U.S. Patent for First-in-Class Compounds That Selectively Target Key Receptors of the Bone Morphogenetic Protein Pathway

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Hopkinton, MA -- Thrasos Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company developing unique therapeutic agents to treat severe organ failure and other critical medical needs, announced today the issuance of U.S. patent number 7,482,329 covering a proprietary set of small molecules that selectively activate key receptors of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family. These compounds selectively activate the repair and regenerative effects of BMP without stimulating bone growth. This key differentiating factor offers significant potential for treating a broad range of life-threatening diseases and conditions, including Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD), the initial focus areas of the Company.

"Many researchers have sought to distinguish the activities of BMP through selective targeting of distinct receptors in the pathway," said Richard Andrews, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thrasos. "Thrasos has achieved a potentially field-changing breakthrough, generating a pipeline of first-in-class compounds that deliver anti-apoptotic, anti-inflammatory and anti-fibrotic effects without stimulating bone formation. Not only do these compounds have the ability to provide important clinical benefits, but they are also critical tools that will facilitate a more complete understanding of the BMP pathway and its receptors. We believe that our initial focus on kidney injury and disease allows us to target large markets that are currently not optimally addressed. We look forward to moving our lead AKI candidate into clinical testing within the next 12 months while pursuing partners for our CKD program and additional promising indications."

"AKI and CKD are challenging medical conditions that can lead to increased risk of death and loss of kidney function. They are extremely costly to care for and present significant challenges to the medical community," said Dr. Glenn M. Chertow, Chief, Division of Nephrology, Stanford University School of Medicine. "These compounds show significant promise in preventing and treating disease and have demonstrated consistently strong data in all studies to date. We are looking forward to seeing them in the clinical setting."

Thrasos designed its compounds using the Company's proprietary Structural Variant Analysis (SVA) technology. SVA uses the known 3D structure of the clinically validated BMP-7 protein and its corresponding cell surface receptors, along with the known activities of the other BMPs, to generate a rich set of active compounds. The SVA technology allows Thrasos to design compounds that act as specific agonists of the different BMP receptors, yielding distinct biological activities.

The patent titled, "Single Domain TDF-Related Compounds and Analogs Thereof," is the first in a family of patent applications filed by Thrasos that cover this set of compounds that are able to bind to select receptors of BMP, activating its distinct cell-, tissue-, and organ-protection, repair and regeneration functions.

About the BMP Pathway

Activation of the BMP pathway offers significant potential for treating a broad range of important medical needs. BMPs are part of the TGF-B family of proteins. They act to reduce and control inflammation and fibrosis and prevent programmed cell death (apoptosis) in many different cells, tissues and organs. BMPs also stimulate chondrogenesis, the development of cartilage. Until now, the use of BMP has remained limited to bone repair due to the inability to selectively separate bone morphogenetic activity from cell-, tissue- and organ-protection, repair and regeneration. Thrasos' research has enabled the selective activation of distinct receptors from the BMP pathway. Consequently, the Company is uniquely positioned to capture the cell- and tissue-protection, repair and regenerative activities of BMP without stimulating bone growth.

About AKI

AKI results from a temporary loss of kidney function due to ischemia (low blood flow to the kidney caused by surgery or trauma), inflammatory disease or nephrotoxicity (primarily due to the use of contrast dye). AKI can initiate an inflammatory cascade that may lead to multi-organ failure.

About CKD

CKD is a progressive disease that leads to fibrosis and permanent loss of kidney function, which results in end-stage renal disease, requiring dialysis. CKD is highly prevalent in diabetic and hypertensive patients and its incidence is increasing as the population both ages and continues to become heavier.

About Thrasos

Thrasos Therapeutics, Inc. is a biotechnology company developing unique therapeutic agents to prevent and treat severe organ failure and other critical medical needs. The Company's drug candidates are proprietary small molecules that selectively activate the key receptors of the bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) family. Thrasos is developing its first drug candidates for the treatment and prevention of Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) and Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).

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