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DECORIN MAY PREVENT PROGRESSION OF KIDNEY DISEASE UTAH AND CALIFORNIA SCIENTISTS REPORT

 SAN DIEGO, Nov. 25 ~PRNewswire~ -- Telios Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: TLIO), the University of Utah and the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation today jointly announced that decorin, a natural human proteoglycan, may prove highly effective in preventing progression of kidney disease -- the second most costly illness in the United States today -- according to a collaborative research study published in the Nov. 26 issue of the international scientific journal Nature. Telios has acquired all rights to patent applications covering the use of decorin in the treatment of fibrotic diseases.
 According to the research, decorin was found to prevent scarring in kidney disease in animals, indicating that decorin may be capable of preventing kidney scarring in humans, the leading cause of kidney failure. If that proves true, decorin could preserve kidney function in diseases such as glomerulonephritis and diabetic kidney disease and may also be effective in other organs being destroyed by pathological scarring.
 This finding follows earlier research conducted by the same collaborators, as reported in Nature in July 1990, showing that excessive production of transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta) was the cause of extracellular matrix accumulation, or scarring, in kidney disease. "We have been searching for a safe way to block or reduce the action of TGF-beta in the human body," stated Wayne A. Border, M.D., professor and chief of the Division of Nephrology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. "Previously, we discovered that antibodies to TGF-beta can reduce the production of extracellular matrix in animals. But antibodies may not be suitable for human use because of the possibility of an allergic reaction," said Border.
 "This discovery of a natural inhibitor of TGF-beta, decorin, may be the breakthrough we have been looking for because decorin is a natural human compound that can be produced as a recombinant molecule and is likely to be suitable for use in humans. This is very important from a practical stand point and brings us much closer to having an effective cure for kidney disease and disorders that relate to the same process," Border added.
 Research conducted in recent years at the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation has revealed that decorin attaches to TGF-beta and inhibits its biological action in the test tube. "I am pleased to see that findings made in basic cancer research may become useful in the treatment of other diseases also," said Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., president and chief executive officer of the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation.
 TGF-beta stimulates the production of the glue-like material called extracellular matrix, a fibrous meshwork which supports cells and allows tissues to regenerate. Excess TGF-beta in the kidneys can cause abnormally high accumulation of extracellular matrix in the glomeruli -- the kidney's tiny filtering units -- causing the filtering apparatus to clog and the kidneys to fail. Excessive production of TGF-beta may also cause pathological scarring of the skin, central nervous system, lungs, liver, cardiovascular system and other organs.
 In addition to Border at the University of Utah, the research collaboration included research teams at the La Jolla Cancer Research Foundation, headed by Ruoslahti, and at San Diego-based Telios Pharmaceuticals, led by Michael D. Pierschbacher, Ph.D., and John Harper, Ph.D. Funding was provided to Border through a grant from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.
 Robert J. Erickson, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Telios Pharmaceuticals, stated that successful completion of further animal tests using decorin to inhibit the action of TGF-beta could mean it would be available in the mid-1990s for human clinical trials of kidney disease and possibly other disorders caused by scarring.
 Telios is developing a new class of therapeutic products based upon research into the role of the extracellular matrix. The company is applying its proprietary technology to develop products for the treatment of severe and chronic dermal wounds, ophthalmic wounds, fibrotic diseases, cardiovascular diseases and osteoporosis.
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 ~CONTACT: Audrey D. Keane, director-corporate development of Telios Pharmaceuticals, 619-622-2615~
 (TLIO)


CO: Telios Pharmaceuticals Inc. ST: San Diego IN: MTC SU:

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Date:Nov 27, 1992
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