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UDEC PHARMACEUTICALS ANNOUNCES ISSUANCE OF PATENT FOR PROTECTING VASCULAR CELLS FROM COMPLEMENT INJURY

 UDEC PHARMACEUTICALS ANNOUNCES ISSUANCE OF PATENT FOR PROTECTING
 VASCULAR CELLS FROM COMPLEMENT INJURY
 NEW HAVEN, Conn., Aug. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- UDEC Pharmaceuticals, Inc., today announced the issuance of U.S. Patent No. 5,135,916 covering the use of a naturally occurring complement inhibitor, CD59, found in blood to protect platelets and endothelial cells from injury.
 Platelets are blood-borne cells that assist with coagulation. Platelets are frequently activated and destroyed during storage or in patients with inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Endothelial cells, which line the body's blood vessels, are often activated and damaged in cardiovascular disease, following transplantation, and in diverse inflammatory states such as lupus and other collagen vascular diseases.
 This patent is the first of a family of patent applications that UDEC has exclusively licensed from Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation. The inventors, Dr. Peter J. Sims, a member of the foundation's Cardiovascular Biology Research Program, and Dr. Therese Wiedmer, an assistant member, are both scientific advisors to UDEC.
 "The issuance of this patent represents an important milestone for the company and may open the window for the development of a new class of therapeutic compounds and processes," said Dr. Leonard Bell, president of UDEC Pharmaceuticals. "This class of complement inhibitors acts specifically to inhibit the membrane attack complex, which represents the component of the complement system directly responsible for tissue injury."
 Complement proteins are components of blood plasma that contribute to inflammation and cellular injury by the immune system. Direct cellular injury by complement proteins is mediated through the assembly of the membrane attack complex (MAC) on the surface of the target cell. CD59 is a specific inhibitor of MAC and thereby protects cells from the effects of the complex. The licensed technology covers the use of this inhibitor to protect platelets and endothelial cells from MAC.
 UDEC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a private biopharmaceutical firm engaged in the research and development of novel proprietary compounds and therapies for treatment of cardiovascular, immunologic, and hematologic disorders.
 -0- 8/5/92
 /CONTACT: Leonard Bell, M.D., president of UDEC Pharmaceuticals, 203-776-1790/ CO: UDEC Pharmaceuticals, Inc. ST: Connecticut IN: MTC SU:


PS-KW -- NY044 -- 7079 08/05/92 11:57 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Aug 5, 1992
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