Potentia, UPenn enter licensing agreement

October 1, 2006

Louisville, KY-Potentia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and University of Pennsylvania entered into an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement that allows Potentia to develop and commercialize the university's Compstatin class of complement-inhibiting peptides for the treatment of ocular diseases. The agreement allows Potentia to move forward with preclinical development of the first complement-inhibiting drug product aimed at treating both wet and dry forms of age-related macular degeneration.

Louisville, KY-Potentia Pharmaceuticals Inc. and University of Pennsylvania entered into an exclusive, worldwide licensing agreement that allows Potentia to develop and commercialize the university's Compstatin class of complement-inhibiting peptides for the treatment of ocular diseases. The agreement allows Potentia to move forward with preclinical development of the first complement-inhibiting drug product aimed at treating both wet and dry forms of age-related macular degeneration.

"We are excited to work with the University of Pennsylvania in developing the first treatment for macular degeneration based on the important genetic findings of the last year," said Potentia CEO Cedric Francois, MD, PhD. "Genetic analysis of patients with macular degeneration has now clearly established that excessive complement activation is involved in the development of macular degeneration. Compstatin is one of the best complement-inhibiting drugs available and we look forward to evaluating its potential and to helping patients suffering from this devastating disease."

Compstatin, a synthetic 13 amino acid cyclic peptide, binds tightly to complement component C3, thereby preventing its participation in the complement activation cascade. As C3 is a central component of all three known complement activation pathways, its inhibition effectively shuts down all downstream complement activation that could otherwise lead to local inflammation, tissue damage, and upregulation of angiogenic factors such as vascular endothelial growth factors.