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LIPOSOME ACQUIRES CLOT-BUSTER TECHNOLOGY FOR HEART ATTACKS; PATENT TO COVER LIPOSOME-ENCAPSULATED FIBRINOLYTIC AGENTS FOR ARTERY REOPENING

LIPOSOME ACQUIRES CLOT-BUSTER TECHNOLOGY FOR HEART ATTACKS; PATENT TO COVER LIPOSOME-ENCAPSULATED FIBRINOLYTIC AGENTS FOR ARTERY REOPENING
 PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The Liposome Company, Inc. (NASDAQ: LIPO) has acquired rights to a pending patent which may pave the way to improved treatments for heart attacks, the company announced today. The patent application covers liposome-encapsulated fibrinolytic agents, drugs that dissolve the clots that cause acute myocardial infarctions (AMI), more commonly known as heart attacks.
 In animal studies, liposome-encapsulated fibrinolytic agents have been shown to offer a number of potentially important advantages compared to conventional drugs. For example, liposome-encapsulated streptokinase dissolved clots more quickly and completely than did unencapsulated streptokinase. In addition, it appears that liposome encapsulation tends to target the drug to the site of the clot, so less fibrinolytic agent is needed. Therefore, it is possible that liposome encapsulation will reduce the risk of uncontrolled bleeding, the most serious of side effects associated with conventional fibrinolytics.
 It has long been recognized that most heart attacks are caused when a blood clot, known as a thrombus, blocks an artery that supplies blood to the heart. A class of agents known as fibrinolytics or thrombolytics has been developed which, when injected into a patient, can break up the thrombus, thereby reopening the artery and restoring blood flow to the heart. Agents in this class include streptokinase and tissue plasminogen activator (TPA). While these agents are effective and have been proven to save lives, they must be given within a few hours of the onset of an AMI, and they can cause unwanted bleeding in some patients. Because of these and other limitations, only about 20 percent of the more than one million AMI patients in the United States each year are now treated with thrombolytics. A safer, faster acting fibrinolytic agent could potentially expand the number of heart attack patients treated with such agents.
 Researchers at the University of Oklahoma have encapsulated streptokinase in liposomes. In animal studies, they found that, compared to unencapsulated agent, the liposome-encapsulated thrombolytic appears to preferentially release the drug at the site of the clot, dissolve the thrombus more quickly and completely, require less thrombolytic agent, and potentially may be safer. A patent application filed by these researchers, and assigned to Research Corporation Technologies, covers liposome-encapsulated fibrinolytic agents. The Liposome Company has acquired a worldwide exclusive license to that pending patent and corresponding foreign patent applications and plans to start immediately a development program designed to bring such a product to market.
 "A liposomal fibrinolytic agent is a natural addition to our R & D pipeline," said Charles A. Baker, chairman and chief executive officer of The Liposome Company. "It's a perfect fit with TLC C-53, our liposomal prostaglandin E1 (PGE1), which we are developing as a cell adhesion antagonist. One of the first applications for TLC C-53 is planned to be in the treatment of reperfusion injury following treatment with a fibrinolytic agent in AMI. Not only could a liposomal fibrinolytic agent have significant market potential itself, but it may also expand the number of patients treated with fibrinolytic agents and thus increase the market potential for TLC C-53. In addition, we expect a synergy in terms of resources for clinical development and eventual marketing of the two drugs."
 The largest company dedicated exclusively to the development of liposome and lipid-based pharmaceuticals, The Liposome Company selectively develops proprietary parenteral pharmaceuticals for the treatment and diagnosis of life-threatening illnesses.
 -0- 12/19/91
 /CONTACT: Anne M. Van Lent, senior vice president of Liposome, 609-452-7060/
 (LIPO) CO: The Liposome Company, Inc. ST: New Jersey IN: MTC SU: TNM


JT-KD -- NY003 -- 3719 12/19/91 09:01 EST
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Date:Dec 19, 1991
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