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CAL BIO AURICULINR PHASE II DATA PRESENTED AT ASN MEETING

       CAL BIO AURICULINR PHASE II DATA PRESENTED AT ASN MEETING
      Interim Results Support Potential Role in Preventing Kidney
                     Damage from Imaging Procedures
     BALTIMORE, Md., Nov. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- A Mayo Clinic researcher presented today at the American Society of Nephrology meeting preliminary results of a Phase II study supporting the potential of atrial natriuretic peptide to prevent kidney toxicity in patients undergoing diagnostic radiocontrast procedures (radiocontrast dye induced nephropathy or RCIN).
    This study is being sponsored by California Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ: CBIO) which is pursuing the investigation of its atrial natriuretic peptide, Auriculin(R), for RCIN as well as two other renal indications - acute renal failure and kidney transplantation. Commenting on the data presented, Richard L. Casey, president and CEO of Cal Bio, said, "These encouraging initial data provide the first evidence in a well-controlled clinical setting that Auriculin can safely attenuate the adverse effects of radiocontrast dye on kidney function in patients at risk of kidney damage from these procedures.  The results to date represent an important step in our program to demonstrate the clinical benefit of Auriculin in RCIN."
    The RCIN data, presented at the meeting by Mayo Clinic investigator Kenneth Margulies, M.D., included 75 patients undergoing arterial imaging procedures.  Of these, 38 patients received Auriculin by direct infusion into the arterial circulation and 37 received a placebo.  The study was randomized and double blind. The trial, scheduled to be completed in a few months is expected to include 130 patients.
    In the Auriculin group, impairment of kidney function due to the radiocontrast procedures was minimized compared with the placebo group.  The difference in renal function among the Auriculin and placebo groups reached statistical significance in the 24-36 hour period after administration.  In addition, 30 percent of the placebo- treated patients experienced RCIN as measured in the study, compared with 13 percent of the Auriculin-treated patients.  In the results to date, Auriculin was demonstrated to be safe for use in these patients.
    "Along with our research collaborators at the Mayo Clinic and at other centers, we are moving forward rapidly to complete this and additional studies to define Auriculin's activity further, as well as to determine the best dose and dosing regimen for testing in Phase III," Casey said.  This additional work is evaluating intravenous administration of Auriculin in a dose-ranging study.  Phase III studies are expected to begin in 1992.
     Radiocontrast agents are a significant factor in the development of acute renal failure.  Ten percent of acute renal failure cases result from the use of radiocontrast agents.
    Currently, there is no effective means to prevent RCIN.  Cal Bio estimates that the potential U.S. patient population for Auriculin use to prevent RCIN is approximately 280,000 per year.
    "Auriculin's activity in RCIN also supports its potential use in preventing kidney toxicity from other pharmaceutical agents, such as certain anticancer and antiinfective drugs," Casey noted.  "Cal Bio plans to expand its development program to assess its utility in these settings."
    In addition to RCIN, Auriculin is undergoing Phase II clinical studies for the treatment of acute kidney failure, with Phase III trials expected to start next year.  In 1992, the company also plans to begin additional Phase II trials to assess the potential use of Auriculin in kidney transplantation.
    California Biotechnology Inc. (NASDAQ:CBIO) is a biotechnology company engaged in the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel human therapeutics.  Cal Bio focuses its efforts in three areas - cardiopulmonary diseases, tissue repair, and metabolic disorders.  The company develops and commercializes products on a proprietary basis and in collaboration with established pharmaceutical companies.
    -0-                        11/15/91
    /CONTACT: Virginia Walker of Cal Bio, 415-940-6631/415-966-1550 or Robert Gottlieb of Feinstein Partners Inc., 617-577-8110/
    (CBIO) CO:  Cal Bio ST:  California IN:  MTC SU: RM -- SJ003 -- 1227 11/18/91 08:32 EST
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Date:Nov 18, 1991
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