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NORCROSS, Ga., Aug. 13, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ:GALT), the leading developer of therapeutics that target galectin proteins to treat fibrosis and cancer, announces receipt of a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for patent application number 13/726,900, titled "Galactose-pronged polysaccharides in a formulation for antifibrotic therapies." When issued, the patent will extend coverage of the Company's pectin-derived compounds (including broad molecular weight ranges and other sources of pectin) to include treatment of chronic kidney disease associated with the development of fibrosis, established kidney fibrosis, chronic lung disease associated with the development of fibrosis and established lung fibrosis.
The Company's lead compound, GR-MD-02, is a proprietary galactoarabino-rhamnogalacturonan polysaccharide polymer that is comprised predominantly of galacturonic acid, galactose, arabinose, rhamnose and smaller amounts of other sugars. GR-MD-02 is currently in a Phase 2 program in subjects with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) with cirrhosis and NASH with advanced fibrosis.
"We are very pleased to bolster our portfolio of intellectual property with this patent and its broad coverage of pectin sources and molecular weight," said Peter G. Traber, M.D., chief executive officer, president and chief medical officer of Galectin Therapeutics. "When issued, this patent will add to the Company's current method of use patents for liver fibrosis, NASH, NASH with fibrosis, NASH cirrhosis and diabetic kidney disease to permit additional fibrotic disease method claims," he added.
Claims in this new patent include administering pectin-derived compound parenterally to a patient having at least one of the four aforementioned diseases where the established fibrosis or progression of the fibrosis or cirrhosis is inhibited or slowed down. Additional specific claims encompass deriving the compound from citrus pectin, apple pectin, soybean hull pectin or sugar beet pectin with a molecular weight between 2 kDa and 400kDa. Also covered is the step of administering the modified galacto-rhamnogalacturonan compound in an admixture with a therapeutic agent, where the agent is an antifibrotic compound.
About Galectin Therapeutics
Galectin Therapeutics is developing promising carbohydrate-based therapies for the treatment of fibrotic liver disease and cancer based on the Company's unique understanding of galectin proteins, which are key mediators of biologic function. Galectin seeks to leverage extensive scientific and development expertise as well as established relationships with external sources to achieve cost-effective and efficient development. The Company is pursuing a development pathway to clinical enhancement and commercialization for its lead compounds in liver fibrosis and cancer. Additional information is available at www.galectintherapeutics.com.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements relate to future events or future financial performance, and use words such as "may," "estimate," "could," "expect" and others. They are based on management's current expectations and are subject to factors and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those described in the statements. These statements include those regarding patents that are expected to allow the potential expansion of Galectin's development program for GR-MD-02 to include treatment of chronic kidney disease associated with the development of fibrosis, established kidney fibrosis, chronic lung disease associated with the development of fibrosis and established lung fibrosis. Claims in issued patents may not afford meaningful protection for our technological products. In addition, patents issued may be challenged and subsequently narrowed, invalidated or circumvented. Factors that could cause actual performance to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements include, among others, that Galectin may not be successful in developing effective treatments and/or obtaining the requisite approvals for the use of GR-MD-02 or any of its other drugs in development. The Company's current clinical trial and any future clinical studies may not produce positive results in a timely fashion, if at all, and could prove time consuming and costly. Plans regarding development, approval and marketing of any of Galectin's drugs are subject to change at any time based on the changing needs of the Company as determined by management and regulatory agencies. Carbohydrates are a relatively new drug class, and regulatory requirements are evolving; and we cannot assure that will be able to meet such requirements in a timely and cost effective manner in the manufacturing and characterization of our products. Regardless of the results of any of its development programs, Galectin may be unsuccessful in developing partnerships with other companies or raising additional capital that would allow it to further develop and/or fund any studies or trials. Galectin has incurred operating losses since inception, and its ability to successfully develop and market drugs may be impacted by its ability to manage costs and finance continuing operations. For a discussion of additional factors impacting Galectin's business, see the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2014, and subsequent filings with the SEC. You should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements. Although subsequent events may cause its views to change, management disclaims any obligation to update forward-looking statements.
Galectin Therapeutics and its associated logo is a registered trademark of Galectin Therapeutics Inc.
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