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TELOR ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO CELL PROTECTION PROTEINS

 TELOR ACQUIRES EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO CELL PROTECTION PROTEINS
 WOBURN, Mass., Oct. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that the company has acquired from Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University exclusive worldwide rights to develop and commercialize "stress" proteins, a class of proteins with cytoprotective properties. Under the agreement, Telor will fund research in the Bowman Gray School of Medicine laboratory of Michael Tytell, Ph.D., to investigate the use of stress proteins to protect the cornea against injury during surgery.
 "The topical administration of stress proteins may provide an innovative and effective approach to prevent injury to the cornea during surgery," said Arthur H. Neufeld, Ph.D., chief scientific officer of Telor. "Dr. Tytell's group has previously demonstrated in laboratory studies the cytoprotective properties of stress proteins in another ocular tissue, the retina. Encouraged by this research, we have begun our collaboration to investigate the use of stress proteins for preventing injury to the Cornea."
 A variety of surgical procedures are performed on the Cornea. For example, an ophthalmologist can correct myopia by reshaping the cornea, the transparent tissue that covers the front of the eyeball. Approximately 30 percent of the United States population has myopia. It is estimated that up to 1.8 million procedures to correct myopia will be performed annually using new surgical techniques currently under development.
 "The development of a topical product to protect the cornea during refractive surgery would represent a significant market opportunity for Telor," commented Stephen J. Riggi, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of Telor. "The licensing agreement with Bowman Gray School of Medicine and collaboration with Dr. Tytell are part of our strategy to build a broad portfolio of proprietary ophthalmic products through the support and development of innovative technology."
 Riggi noted, "Through the license, Telor has rights to Bowman Gray School of Medicine, Wake Forest University patent applications for stress proteins. The collaboration is also anticipated to result in potential application of stress proteins in fields of medicine in addition to ophthalmics."
 Stress proteins, also known as heat shock proteins, are highly conserved among species and are believed to play a major role in protecting cells against environmental and metabolic stress. The use of stress proteins as cytoprotective agents has been pioneered by Drs. Tytell, Berberian and Gower in the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the Bowman Gray School of Medicine at Wake Forest University.
 In the Sept. 30, 1988 issue of Science, Dr. Tytell and collaborators published the first study describing the cytoprotective properties of stress proteins in the eye. the study demonstrated that stress proteins produced naturally through a rise in body temperature prevented retinal damage in laboratory rats exposed to bright light.
 Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing innovative products for the treatment of age-related eye diseases. The company's initial products in development are for controlling intraocular pressure following surgery and in glaucoma and for other diseases of the eye. Telor began operations in 1989 and has its headquarters in Woburn, Mass.
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 /CONTACT: Dr. Stephen J. Riggi Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 617-937-0393, or Bill Glance of Bowman Gray School of Medicine, 919-716-4587, Lynne H. Brum, Feinstein Partners Inc., 617-577-8110/ CO: Telor Ophthalmic Pharmaceuticals ST: Massachusetts IN: MTC SU:


TM -- NE004 -- 6407 10/05/92 08:30 EDT
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Date:Oct 5, 1992
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