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MIAMI LAKES, FL -- (Marketwired) -- 06/03/15 -- Asana Medical, Inc., ("Asana," the "Company"), an emerging medical device company focused on the development and commercialization of its innovative engineered tissue therapy to treat Inflammatory Bowel Disease ("IBD"), has obtained a world-wide, field specific, exclusive license from the University of Pittsburgh on multiple patents and patent applications covering methods and for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disease without a colectomy, including the use of Extracellular Matrix-derived gels and their methods for preparation and sterilization. This group of technologies will be at the core of the Company's future products focused on treating IBD. Asana Medical will initially target development of a therapy for the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis (UC), a disease that affects approximately 5.7 million people worldwide. Other possible disease targets Asana will pursue includes Crohn's Disease, the other major form of IBD.
Asana is collaborating with Stephen F. Badylak, DVM, PhD, MD, Deputy Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, recognized as a world-class center for its work in extracellular matrix ("ECM") for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine.
"There are limited therapeutic options for these serious gastrointestinal diseases. We're hopeful that these promising regenerative medicine techniques will one day help these tissues heal and function normally, providing relief for many affected individuals," stated Dr. Badylak.
Asana's lead product "ECMH," a hydrogel composed of porcine extracellular matrix, will be delivered to the colon using existing technologies to build a protective barrier and create a scaffold for natural tissue recovery to occur. Extracellular matrix products have demonstrated efficacy in multiple clinical applications including esophageal repair, hernia repair, pericardial closures, and burn and wound treatments. ECM has been successfully commercialized for over a decade and has demonstrated an excellent safety profile. ECMH offers the promise of a non-pharmacologic, non-surgical treatment for UC.
"Execution of this license agreement is an important milestone for Asana. It creates additional value for Asana by securing our intellectual capital position and by building credibility with the tissue engineering industry and our stakeholders. The Agreement brings us one step closer to bringing a transformational technology to patients seeking a viable alternative in treating IBD," stated Marc Ramer, CEO of Asana Medical, Inc.
Ulcerative Colitis is a disease characterized by recurring episodes of inflammation of the colon lining (mucosa). Typical UC symptoms include pain, chronic diarrhea, bleeding, and urgency to use the restroom. More severe symptoms include malnutrition, stunted growth (in pediatric cases), and a greater risk of colon cancer. There is no known cure for UC. Options to manage the symptoms of UC include 5-ASA (aspirin-like drugs, for mild cases) and systemic corticosteroids and biologics (for moderate to severe cases). While 5-ASA is fairly benign, biologics (immunosuppressing drugs) can lead to severe side effects. Regardless of the treatment option, 20-30% of UC patients are unresponsive to any drugs and have no alternative except to undergo colectomy (removal of the colon), a major surgery that leads to challenging, lifelong lifestyle changes.
Asana will market ECMH to UC patients unresponsive to 5-ASA drugs and be positioned to capture substantial market share from a pharmaceutical-dominated marketplace estimated to exceed $3.7 billion per year by 2021.
ABOUT ASANA MEDICAL, INC.
Asana Medical is an emerging medical device company developing tissue-engineered therapies for the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). The Company's lead therapy, a novel application of a proven technology, will be a first-in-class therapy for patients suffering from UC. This therapy will be positioned to compete in a multi-billion dollar market dominated by biologic- and drug therapies that can have significant side effects. Additionally, 20-30% of patients do not benefit from these therapies and have no alternative except colon removal surgery. Asana has an experienced management team, strong patent protection, world-class advisors in business and medicine, and compelling preclinical proof-of-concept data. For more information, visit www.asanamedical.com.
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