Vasogen's VP025 Provides a Neuroprotective Effect in Preclinical Model of Parkinson's Disease

- Research Presented at Neuroscience 2004 -

Oct 26, 2004, 01:00 ET from Vasogen Inc.

    TORONTO, Oct. 26 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Vasogen Inc. (NASDAQ:  VSGN;
 TSX:VAS), a researcher and developer of immune modulation therapies targeting
 chronic inflammation, today announced the presentation of preclinical research
 demonstrating the ability of VP025 to provide a significant neuroprotective
 effect in a model of Parkinson's disease. The research, carried out by the
 Department of Anatomy/Neuroscience, Biosciences Institute, University College
 Cork, Ireland, was presented at Neuroscience 2004, the Society for
 Neuroscience's 34th Annual Meeting in San Diego.
     "The ability of VP025 to offer a protective effect in the brain and
 reduce neuron death in this preclinical model suggests that this drug may have
 potential in the treatment of Parkinson's disease," said Dr. Aideen Sullivan,
 principal investigator for this study at University College Cork. "It is also
 encouraging to note that these data are consistent with other research being
 presented at this conference this week, which highlight the positive
 anti-inflammatory effects of VP025 in other preclinical models."
     Evidence is accumulating that inflammation plays an important role in the
 pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Microglial cells (immune cells resident
 in the brain) are activated in Parkinson's disease, producing pro-inflammatory
 factors that result in the death of nerve cells in various areas of the brain.
 The preclinical research presented today was based on a well-established model
 of Parkinson's disease that involves introduction of 6-hydroxydopamine
 (6-OHDA), which mimics the pathology of this condition. Both Parkinson's
 disease and 6-OHDA administration are associated with inflammatory processes
 that lead to the death of certain nerve cells, the dopaminergic neurons, and
 it is the loss of these neurons that results in the movement abnormalities
 seen in this model.
     Pretreatment with VP025 significantly (p less than 0.001) reduced
 movement abnormalities seven days after 6-OHDA was administered to initiate
 nerve damage, and this protective effect continued until the end of the
 three-week study. VP025 also significantly attenuated both the reduction in
 dopamine (p less than 0.05) and the loss of dopaminergic neurons (p less than
 0.05), factors that mediate behavioural changes in this model, as well as in
 Parkinson's disease. These results suggest that VP025 confers a
 neuro-protective effect in the brain, inhibiting the death of dopaminergic
 nerve cells, and that this protection may occur by preventing aberrant
 activation of immunoregulatory cells in the brain.
     Parkinson's disease, a chronic and progressive neurological condition,
 affects up to 1.5 million Americans. While its cause is unknown, the symptoms
 of Parkinson's disease are primarily the result of degeneration of areas of
 the brain that control and modulate movement. Symptoms include tremors,
 slowness of movement, stiffness and rigidity of limbs, and gait or balance
 problems. As the disease progresses, these symptoms usually increase and
 impact a person's ability to work and function.
     VP025, the lead product candidate from a new class of structurally
 related drugs, is being developed for the treatment of chronic
 neuro-inflammatory disorders. VP025 is designed to interact with immune cells
 leading to the modulation of cytokines - potent chemical messengers that
 regulate and control inflammation. Neurological conditions that are associated
 with an inflammatory response in the central nervous system include
 Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic
 lateral sclerosis (ALS also known as Lou Gehrig's disease). These indications
 are characterized by increased levels of inflammatory mediators, including
 cytokines, leading to the death of nerve cells and the eventual loss of
 functional activity. Due to the prevalence, morbidity and mortality associated
 with neuro-inflammatory diseases, they represent a significant medical,
 social, and financial burden.
     About the Society for Neuroscience:
     The Society for Neuroscience is the world's largest organization of
 scientists devoted to the study of the brain. The 36,000 members of the
 Society include basic researchers studying the many neuroscience disciplines,
 and clinicians specializing in neurology, neurosurgery, psychiatry,
 ophthalmology, and related fields. Neuroscience includes the study of brain
 development, sensation, perception, learning, memory, movement, sleep, stress,
 aging, neurological and psychiatric disorders, and the molecules, cells, and
 genes responsible for nervous system functioning.
     About Vasogen:
     Vasogen is a leader in the research and commercial development of immune
 modulation therapies targeting the chronic inflammation underlying
 cardiovascular disorders. Vasogen's lead product, Celacade(TM) (immune
 modulation therapy) is currently in pivotal phase III clinical trials for the
 treatment of chronic heart failure and peripheral arterial disease. The
 Company's 2,000-patient ACCLAIM trial, being conducted at cardiac centers
 throughout North America and Europe, is investigating the impact of
 Celacade(TM) on reducing the risk of mortality and morbidity in advanced
 chronic heart failure patients. Vasogen's 500-patient SIMPADICO trial, being
 conducted at medical centers throughout North America, is designed to further
 investigate the impact of Celacade(TM) on reducing the debilitating symptoms
 associated with peripheral arterial disease. Celacade(TM) is designed to
 target chronic inflammation by activating the immune system's physiological
 anti-inflammatory response to apoptotic cells. Vasogen is also developing a
 new class of drugs, designed to interact with immune cells leading to the
 modulation of cytokines - potent chemical messengers that regulate and control
 inflammation. VP025, the lead candidate from this new class of drugs, is in
 preclinical development for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders
 including Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.
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 forward-looking statements are made as of the date hereof, and the Company
 disclaims any intention and has no obligation or responsibility, except as
 required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether
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SOURCE Vasogen Inc.