Arbor Vita and WRAIR sign CRADA for traumatic brain injury collaboration

September 08, 2008

Sunnyvale, CA - September 8, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Applied Neurobiology at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) and Arbor Vita Corporation (AVC) have signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for research and development of treatments for traumatic brain injury (TBI). The alliance is based on discoveries made from a collaborative effort between AVC and NoNO Inc., of Toronto, Canada, and will explore the use of the companies' NA-1 compound as a novel neuroprotective agent for severe brain injury of soldiers and civilians injured in explosions such as roadside bombs. NA-1 is an investigational compound that targets a PDZ protein and is in clinical trials for the treatment of stroke.

Arbor Vita Corporation has a novel drug development strategy targeting the PDZ family of proteins - critical elements that organize and regulate many signaling pathways in cells. The disruption of PDZ interactions provides a means to control specific signaling cascades in complex diseases, including that which controls the death of neurons in the brain following a stroke. The combined research approach of WRAIR brain trauma scientists and neuroprotection experts and the neuroscience research teams of AVC and NoNO Inc. will provide a unique opportunity for conducting advanced preclinical neuroprotection research in a model of brain injury that mimics some types of battlefield injuries. The ultimate goal of the program is the advanced development of a novel therapy for the acute treatment of brain injury.

Traumatic brain injuries from bombs and other explosions are troubling consequences of modern urban and terrorist warfare for both military personnel and civilians. Every year, approximately 1,400,000 individuals in the U.S. and upwards of 2,000,000 worldwide experience traumatic brain injuries. To date, despite very encouraging preclinical results, almost all Phase II/III neuroprotection clinical trials for stroke and TBI have failed to show any consistent improvement in outcome for TBI patients. Only therapies that ameliorate blood flow or target secondary effects are in clinical use. There is a clear unmet medical need for such a drug.

The CRADA between the WRAIR and Arbor Vita represents a collaborative effort employing state-of-the-art preclinical research platforms and drug development strategies that may yield a therapeutic agent ready for human clinical trial assessment. Under the terms of the CRADA, Arbor Vita will supply the clinical materials of NA-1 along with supporting preclinical and human clinical research data. WRAIR will conduct a dose-response study to establish proof of efficacy in a variety of brain injury models and, if successful, conduct additional studies in support of Phase II human clinical trials.
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About Arbor Vita Corporation

Arbor Vita (www.arborvita.com) is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel drugs and diagnostics addressing disease through a new family of targets - PDZ proteins. PDZ proteins are critical elements that organize and regulate many signaling pathways in human cells. Arbor Vita is pioneering the development of both therapeutics and diagnostics through their unique understanding of the role of PDZs in cell signaling and disease. The company is addressing major health issues including cervical cancer, stroke and cardiovascular disease, as well as infectious diseases such as influenza.

About NoNO Inc.

NoNO Inc. is a biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development and commercialization of novel drugs and diagnostics for neurological disorders including stroke, pain and traumatic brain injuries. NoNO Inc. has pioneered the development of these drugs and diagnostics through their research on distinct signaling mechanisms mediating ischemic cell death and pain pathways. The company is addressing major health issues in areas of unmet need.

About the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

WRAIR is the largest, most diverse, and oldest laboratory in the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. It conducts research on a range of militarily relevant issues, including naturally occurring infectious diseases, combat casualty care, operational health hazards, and medical defense against biological and chemical weapons. WRAIR is the Department of Defense's lead agency for infectious disease research and a crucial source of research support for medical product development.

Arbor Vita Corporation

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