Kereos' Collaborators Present on Targeted Therapies for Cardiovascular Disease

Data Presented at AHA Scientific Sessions on First Applications of

Nanotechnology for Treating Cardiovascular Disease

Nov 15, 2005, 00:00 ET from Kereos

    ST. LOUIS, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Kereos, a biotechnology company
 developing targeted imaging agents and therapeutics to improve the detection
 and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease, announced today that the
 company's collaborators at Washington University School of Medicine will be
 presenting preclinical data on two therapeutic candidates at the American
 Heart Association (AHA) Scientific Sessions this week.  These agents are the
 first cardiovascular-targeted therapeutics in Kereos' pipeline of ligand-
 targeted emulsions, and represent two of the first applications of
 nanotechnology to treating cardiovascular disease.
     The first presentation from the research group led by Samuel Wickline,
 M.D., and Gregory Lanza, M.D., Ph.D., "Magnetic Resonance Molecular Imaging
 Predicts the Effectiveness of Targeted Drug Delivery in Atherosclerosis"
 (Patrick M. Winter, et. al.), reports on a novel drug candidate for coronary
 artery disease.  In it, the researchers describe a ligand-targeted emulsion to
 inhibit one of the fundamental processes underlying atherosclerosis, or
 "clogging" of the arteries.  They also show that magnetic resonance imaging
 (MRI) can be used to assess the delivery of the targeted therapeutic and
 predict response to it.  While atherosclerosis is currently treated with a
 number of drugs, as well as angioplasty or bypass graft surgery, it continues
 to be one of the top causes of heart disease and death.  The agent developed
 at Washington University offers a new approach that may offer more rapid drug-
 based treatment.
     The second presentation, entitled "Intramural Delivery of Rapamycin with
 alpha-v-beta-3-integrin-targeted Paramagnetic Nanoparticles Inhibits Stenosis
 Following Angioplasty" (Tillman Cyrus, et. al.), discusses a targeted agent to
 reduce stenosis, or narrowing of the blood vessels to the heart, after
 angioplasty to open arteries clogged by atherosclerosis.  In this study,
 Kereos' collaborators found that drug delivery using a ligand-targeted
 emulsion reduced the amount of stenosis by nearly 50% following balloon
 overstretch injury in animal models.  While currently, drug-eluting stents are
 used to discourage renarrowing of coronary arteries after surgery, or
 restenosis, the drugs can inhibit healing of the artery wall lining, resulting
 in potential complications due to clotting.  The approach being presented by
 the Washington University team may eliminate this unwanted disruption of
 healing and could be used either alone or with non-drug-eluting stents.
     In a poster presentation at the AHA meeting, the Washington University
 researchers also demonstrated the use of a ligand-targeted MRI emulsion in
 evaluating the effectiveness of L-arginine therapy in peripheral vascular
 disease (PVD).  While the traditional imaging method, X-ray angiography, is
 unable to evaluate the therapy for at least 40 days after treatment, MRI with
 the ligand-targeted emulsion provided an assessment within 10 days.
     "Targeted therapeutics, especially nanotechnology-based agents such as
 these two ligand-targeted emulsions, offer exciting new horizons for treating
 cardiovascular disease," said Gregory Lanza, M.D., Ph.D., a co-author on both
 presentations.  "While similar agents are generating a great deal of
 excitement in cancer, their ability to deliver potent drug therapy with fewer
 side effects should be at least as important in atherosclerosis.  In addition,
 the ability to use targeted imaging agents to predict and evaluate the success
 of these targeted therapies is an exciting proposition for physicians,
 patients, and healthcare payors alike."
     Kereos has licensed the ligand-targeted emulsion imaging agents and
 therapeutics, both for cancer and cardiovascular disease, from Washington
 University and Barnes Jewish Hospital.
     About Kereos:
     Kereos develops products designed to provide more effective detection and
 treatment of cancer, the first two of which are expected to enter clinical
 trials for solid tumors in 2006.  The company's proprietary technology pairs
 diagnosis and therapy by targeting imaging agents or therapeutics specifically
 to the disease site.  The company's targeted imaging agents allow more
 accurate and sensitive imaging, and its targeted chemotherapeutics deliver
 potent and precise therapy.  In addition to advancing its internal pipeline,
 Kereos is working with leading pharmaceutical and imaging companies, including
 Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging on the development and commercialization
 of cardiovascular disease magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents and Philips
 Medical Systems on the development of molecular imaging systems.  Kereos is
 headquartered in St. Louis at the Center for Emerging Technologies.  For more
 information, visit Kereos' website at
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 Robert A. Beardsley Ph.D.