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GENSIA AND ARAMED ANNOUNCE SELECTION OF ARA COMPOUND FOR DEVELOPMENT FOR THE TREATMENT OF EPILEPSY

 SAN DIEGO, June 22 /PRNewswire/ -- Gensia Inc. (Nasdaq: GNSA) and Aramed Inc. (Nasdaq: ARAM) announced today that they have selected a compound, GP-1-3269, a second generation adenosine regulating agent (ARA), for development for the treatment of epilepsy. Aramed is a special purpose corporation formed by Gensia and has the rights to develop the intravenous and oral forms of ARAs for epilepsy and acute seizures.
 In preclinical models of epilepsy, GP-1-3269 appears to be efficacious when given orally. Adenosine has been called the brain's natural anticonvulsant because it is released locally during seizures and acts to inhibit the release of certain neurotransmitters and reduce neuronal excitation, thus preventing epileptic activity. The approach taken by Gensia is to develop drugs such as GP-1-3269 which can increase the extracellular levels of adenosine and enhance this natural anticonvulsant effect. In a study of epileptic patients whose seizures were intractable to current therapy, it has been shown that adenosine is released locally in the brain at the time seizures began. This may indicate the potential for ARAs in patients with epilepsy who are unresponsive to other treatments.
 "We believe that this compound has the potential to be the first drug for epilepsy to take advantage of the natural anticonvulsant effects of adenosine. We are very pleased to have identified our first ARA compound for the treatment of epilepsy and expect to begin toxicology studies with this compound in 1995, assuming chemistry scale- up efforts are successful," said David F. Hale, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Gensia Inc.
 According to industry sources, over 2 million individuals in the United States and 1 percent of the population worldwide suffer from epilepsy, with approximately 100,000 new cases reported each year in the United States. Epileptics take anticonvulsant drugs on a prophylactic basis, generally for life. It is estimated that 25 percent to 30 percent of patients are inadequately treated by currently available anticonvulsant drugs, and many others suffer significant side effects. No single drug is effective for all seizure types, and patients often require therapy involving a combination of drugs. Moreover, the currently available drugs exhibit adverse side effects, particularly when used in combination, and drug tolerance is a problem in some patients. Therefore, there is a strong clinical need for new anticonvulsant therapies, especially those with new mechanistic approaches to the treatment of the disease.
 Aramed was formed to accelerate the discovery, research and development of certain compounds utilizing Gensia's ARA technology. Aramed has contracted with Gensia to conduct research and development in three program areas: second-generation ARAs for use in the intravenous treatment of acute cardiovascular disorders, ARAs for the oral and intravenous treatment of certain seizure disorders and ARAs and adenosine agonists for the intravenous treatment of acute cerebrovascular disorders. Gensia Inc. is a San Diego-based biopharmaceutical company formed to discover, develop, manufacture and market novel pharmaceutical products for the treatment and diagnosis of human diseases.
 -0- 6/22/94
 /CONTACT: Elizabeth G. Foster of Gensia, 619-546-8300/
 (GNSA ARAM)


CO: Gensia Inc.; Aramed Inc. ST: California IN: MTC SU:

BB-LS -- SD004 -- 8887 06/22/94 09:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jun 22, 1994
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