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Aegis Therapeutics and Albany Medical College Combine Discoveries to Create a Novel Anti-Obesity Nasal Spray.



SAN DIEGO San Diego (săn dēā`gō), city (1990 pop. 1,110,549), seat of San Diego co., S Calif., on San Diego Bay; inc. 1850. San Diego includes the unincorporated communities of La Jolla and Spring Valley. Coronado is across the bay.  -- Aegis Therapeutics officials and Albany Medical College Albany Medical College (AMC) is a medical school located in Albany, New York, United States. It was founded in 1839. The college is part of the Albany Medical Center, which includes the Albany Medical Center Hospital.  researchers announced today that they have entered into a license agreement relating to the Albany Medical College's patented anti-obesity peptide. Aegis plans to employ its patented Intravail(TM) intranasal in·tra·na·sal
adj.
Within the nose.
 peptide delivery technology with the Albany Medical College's anti-obesity peptide to assess its commercial potential and to seek appropriate partnerships with pharmaceutical companies interested in the obesity market.

"Following the discovery of the hormone leptin Leptin
A protein hormone that affects feeding behavior and hunger in humans. At present it is thought that obesity in humans may result in part from insensitivity to leptin.
 and its critical role in curbing appetite by Jeffrey Friedman and his colleagues in 1995, many believed that the ability to treat obesity was imminent," said Edward T. Maggio, Ph.D., President and CEO (1) (Chief Executive Officer) The highest individual in command of an organization. Typically the president of the company, the CEO reports to the Chairman of the Board.  of Aegis. "As a result several clinical trials ensued to combat obesity with recombinant leptin, but these were unsuccessful. This joint agreement between Aegis Therapeutics and Albany Medical College brings renewed hope that a pharmaceutical treatment for obesity is possible."

Researchers at Albany Medical College, in Albany, NY, made an important additional discovery in 2000. Principal investigator, Patricia Grasso, Ph.D., associate professor, Center for Cell Biology and Cancer Research, and Department of Medicine, and co-investigators, Daniel Lee, M.D., associate professor of medicine, and Matthew Leinung, M.D., associate professor of medicine and head of the division of endocrinology and metabolism, found that a very small piece of the leptin hormone, a peptide representing less than 6% of the total leptin molecule, was responsible for controlling appetite. This was found using a synthetic peptide strategy to map the entire leptin molecule for active sites.

At the same time, Aegis Therapeutics has developed a novel, highly effective, intranasal absorption agent for proteins and peptides, termed Intravail(TM), which is creating new therapeutic options for physicians and patients. "Peptides, which are digested in the stomach, cannot be taken orally," said Maggio. "As a result, peptide drugs, such as insulin, human growth hormone human growth hormone (HGH): see growth hormone. , and erythropoietin erythropoietin /eryth·ro·poi·e·tin/ (-poi´e-tin) a glycoprotein hormone secreted by the kidney in the adult and by the liver in the fetus, which acts on stem cells of the bone marrow to stimulate red blood cell production , are administered by injection. While intranasal administration of protein and peptide drugs has shown some initial success with small peptides such as calcitonin calcitonin /cal·ci·to·nin/ (-to´nin) a polypeptide hormone secreted by C cells of the thyroid gland, and sometimes of the thymus and parathyroids, which lowers calcium and phosphate concentration in plasma and inhibits bone resorption. , Aegis' Intravail(TM) absorption enhancement agents provide unmatched bioavailabilities -- bioavailabilities comparable to injection for small as well as much larger proteins, for the first time. This marks an important advance in non-invasive peptide and protein drug delivery in general and will be especially valuable in bringing 'user-friendly' peptide-based anti-obesity therapies to market."

The number of peptides having important biological activities continues to grow at an accelerating rate, with more than 700 new peptide drugs currently reported to be in preclinical development.

About Aegis Therapeutics

Aegis Therapeutics Inc. is a specialty pharmaceutical company commercializing its patented Intravail(TM) drug delivery technology that enables the non-invasive delivery of a broad range of protein, peptide and non-peptide macromolecular mac·ro·mol·e·cule  
n.
A very large molecule, such as a polymer or protein, consisting of many smaller structural units linked together. Also called supermolecule.
 therapeutics that can currently only be administered by injection. Aegis' Intravail(TM) absorption enhancement agents are mild and non-irritating to mucosal membranes. They provide exceptionally high and unmatched bioavailability bioavailability /bio·avail·a·bil·i·ty/ (bi?o-ah-val?ah-bil´i-te) the degree to which a drug or other substance becomes available to the target tissue after administration.

bi·o·a·vail·a·bil·i·ty
n.
 performance, comparable in efficiency to subcutaneous injection, via the intranasal and other mucosal membrane administration routes.

About Albany Medical College

Albany Medical College is part of Albany Medical Center, which also includes the Albany Medical Center Hospital and the Albany Medical Center Foundation, Inc. The institution has a three-fold mission of patient care, biomedical research and medical education.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:May 16, 2005
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