NEW YORK, June 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- MacroChem Corporation (OTC Bulletin Board: MACM) announced today that Michael Zasloff, MD, PhD , Professor, Department of Surgery, Georgetown University, a pioneer in the discovery of antimicrobial peptides and a member of MacroChem's Scientific Advisory Board, will make a presentation entitled "Topical Therapy for Infections: Are Peptides Ready for Prime-Time?" at a symposium entitled New Developments in Diabetic Foot Wound Assessment and Treatment at the 68th Scientific Session of the American Diabetes Association in San Francisco on June 8, 2008 at 2:30 pm local time.
Dr. Zasloff will discuss recent discoveries in innate immunity that explain the role of antimicrobial peptides in protecting human skin from infection. In this context, he will discuss the rationale for the development of a topical antimicrobial peptide for the treatment of infected diabetic foot ulcers. This condition remains a leading complication of diabetes, resulting in thousands of lower limb amputations yearly. In the mid-1990's, Dr. Zasloff along with other colleagues, developed a topical antimicrobial peptide called pexiganan for the treatment of diabetic foot ulcers. Pexiganan, currently being developed by MacroChem, has been evaluated in over 1000 diabetic patients and has already completed two Phase III clinical trials.
According to Dr. Zasloff, "Pexiganan is a topically administered antimicrobial peptide with a broad spectrum of activity, and we believe represents a rational treatment for diabetes patients with mildly infected foot ulcers. Pexiganan, like other antimicrobial peptides, has a very low potential for development of antimicrobial resistance, a problem associated with conventional agents and of particular concern in the long term management of the diabetic patient. The local application of pexiganan mimics the natural processes that appear to fail in the setting of diabetes."
Robert J. DeLuccia, MacroChem's Chairman said, "Dr. Zasloff's presentation brings further attention to the enormous and growing worldwide problem of diabetes and its complications such as infected foot ulcers. Diabetic foot ulcers are a major concern and burden to the approximately 20 million diabetics in the US alone, as well as the healthcare system. Additionally, there are currently no other topical antimicrobials proven to be effective in treating diabetic foot infections. Accordingly, we believe that pexiganan could fill an important unmet medical need and provide a significant commercial opportunity for our Company in an addressable market of millions of diabetic foot infections annually, which translates to a potential estimated one-half billion dollar market in just the US." He further stated, "Since presenting the results of the two Phase III clinical trials with pexiganan this past March at the Diabetic Global Foot Convention in Los Angeles, we have received increasing interest to this development program from the medical community as well as from industry."
About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association provides professional education activities and courses that focus on the latest in basic and clinical research. These activities offer educational opportunities, as well as the chance to network with colleagues. They are designed to reach a wide audience of health care providers including diabetologists, researchers, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians, psychologists, and podiatrists as well as international physicians and researchers. The mission of the Association is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. To fulfill this mission, the American Diabetes Association funds research, publishes scientific findings, provides information and other services to people with diabetes, their families, health professionals and the public. The Association is also actively involved in advocating for scientific research and for the rights of people with diabetes.
MacroChem is a specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and seeks to commercialize pharmaceutical products. Product candidates in our clinical development portfolio are: pexiganan, EcoNail(R) and SR9025 which was recently acquired. Pexiganan, a novel topical anti-infective for the treatment of diabetic foot infection, was recently in-licensed and has already completed two Phase 3 trials. EcoNail is a topically applied SEPA-based econazole lacquer for the treatment of onychomycosis, a condition commonly known as nail fungus. SR9025 is a new generation nucleoside analog which has demonstrated both pre-clinical and clinical activity in certain cancers.
On April 23, 2008, MacroChem announced it acquired Virium Pharmaceuticals Inc. Virium was a non-public, development stage company whose business is developing and commercializing novel therapeutics with a focus in oncology. By acquiring Virium, the Company has in-licensed a group of product candidates targeted for development and commercialization in several oncology or oncology-related indications. These opportunities involve compounds that Virium believes show promising late-stage, pre-clinical or early clinical data.
Forward Looking Statements
With the exception of historical information contained in this press release, the matters described herein are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. MacroChem's actual results may differ significantly from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, those discussed or referred to in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in MacroChem's Annual Report on Form 10-K, as well as those discussed elsewhere therein, and include, without limitation, risks regarding product development, the timing and results of clinical trials, the regulatory approval process, capital requirements, financial condition, patent protection and dependence on third parties for development and licensing arrangements. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. MacroChem undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. For more information visit our website, www.macrochem.com
SOURCE MacroChem Corporation