Allon granted U.S. patent for neurotoxicity caused by anti-cancer drugs

Mar 28, 2012, 08:30 ET from Allon Therapeutics Inc.

VANCOUVER, March 28, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Allon Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: NPC) announced today that it has been granted a U.S. patent that covers the use of the Company's neuroprotective technology platform in the treatment of peripheral neuropathy. This includes the Company's lead drug candidate, davunetide, and pipeline product AL-309 as treatments for peripheral neuropathy caused by anti-cancer drugs.

Dr. Alistair Stewart, Allon's Vice President of Commercial Research, said the Company's research has shown that its drug candidates are active in preclinical models of peripheral neuropathy, including neurotoxicity and neuropathic pain associated with anti-cancer therapy. "These data lead us to conclude that AL-309 may have the potential to prevent or reduce neurotoxicity when administered in combination with anti-cancer agents known to cause peripheral neurotoxicity and neuropathic pain," Stewart said.

Allon previously presented preclinical data at a Society for Neurosciences meeting that showed the activity of AL-309 in chemotherapy-induced neuropathy. AL-309, administered in combination with oxaliplatin (an anti-cancer agent) reduced pain symptoms in a model of peripheral neuropathy.

The Society for Neurosciences, publisher of the Journal of Neuroscience, is an organization of more than 40,000 basic scientists and clinicians who study the brain and nervous system. The society is based in Washington, D.C.

"The granting of this US patent shows Allon's commitment to building comprehensive intellectual property covering its technology in a variety of settings, including disease prevention," Stewart said. This new U.S. patent strengthens Allon's intellectual property estate which includes 15 patent families, 62 issued patents and over 30 pending applications worldwide.

About peripheral neuropathy
Peripheral neuropathy and neuropathic pain can result from a variety of medical conditions, such as diabetes; or from the side-effects of drug treatments, such as cancer chemotherapy. Peripheral neuropathy is caused by damage to peripheral nerves that detect touch and painful stimuli. Symptoms include tingling, hypersensitivity to light touch or painful stimuli and chronic pain. These sensory problems can also proceed to numbness and loss of sensitivity. Common qualities of the painful neuropathy include burning or coldness, "pins and needles" sensations, numbness and itching. Global drug sales for neuropathic pain will reach an estimated $3 billion in 2012.

About Allon
Allon Therapeutics Inc. is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on bringing to market innovative central nervous system therapies. Allon's lead drug davunetide is proceeding in a pivotal clinical trial in an orphan indication, in Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP), under a Special Protocol Assessment (SPA) with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The trial is fully enrolled and is expected to complete patient dosing and release top-line data by late 2012. This pivotal trial is based upon statistically significant human efficacy demonstrated in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment (a precursor to Alzheimer's disease), cognitive impairment associated with schizophrenia, and in positive biomarker data.

The Company is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the trading symbol "NPC".

Forward Looking Statements
Statements contained herein, other than those which are strictly statements of historical fact may include forward-looking information. Such statements will typically contain words such as "believes", "may", "plans", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipates", "intends", "expects", and similar expressions. While forward-looking statements represent management's outlook based on assumptions that management believes are reasonable, forward-looking statements by their nature are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, events or developments to be materially different from any future results, events or developments expressed or implied by them. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainty involved in scientific research and drug development, Allon's early stage of development, lack of product revenues, its additional capital requirements, the risks associated with successful completion of clinical trials and the long lead-times and high costs associated with obtaining regulatory approval to market any product which Allon may eventually develop. Other risk factors include the limited protections afforded by intellectual property rights, rapid technology and product obsolescence in a highly competitive environment and Allon's dependence on collaborative partners and contract research organizations. These factors can be reviewed in Allon's public filings at and should be considered carefully. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. Similarly, nothing in this press release is meant to promote a pharmaceutical product or make a regulated claim of efficacy.

Rick Smith
Allon Therapeutics Inc.
Director, Investor Relations
(604) 742-2543

SOURCE Allon Therapeutics Inc.