Manuscript Demonstrates Remarkable DNA Delivery and Expression in the Mouse Retina

CLEVELAND--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc. announced today that a research team at University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center, led by Dr. Muna Naash, professor of Cell Biology, demonstrated that Copernicus DNA nanoparticles safely and effectively deliver and express DNA in the rods and cones of the mouse retina. According to Dr. Naashs team, current data indicate that greater than 95% of these retinal cells expressed the DNA nanoparticle and there was no evidence of toxicity. These findings, published on December 20, 2006 in the journal PLoS ONE, have significant implications for the development of DNA-based therapeutics for various eye disorders, including retinitis pigmentosa and macular degeneration company officials said.

“Dr. Muna Naash’s work underscores the importance of corporate and university-based investigators working together to explore new and potentially effective treatments for human blinding disorders”

These exciting results suggest that genetic replacement therapy is feasible for various eye diseases, said Robert C. Moen, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Copernicus. The Copernicus DNA nanoparticle formulation is safe and effective and permits a non-viral approach to treat human disease by introducing a normal copy of the underlying gene that is responsible for the disease process. In addition to corrective therapy for genetic diseases such as retinitis pigmentosa, nucleic acid nanoparticles may provide effective treatments for more complex disorders such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, and various diseases that injure ganglion cells and the optic nerve.

We are pleased by the promise of the results and look forward to continuing our work in this area, said Dr. Naash. Dr. Muna Naashs work underscores the importance of corporate and university-based investigators working together to explore new and potentially effective treatments for human blinding disorders, Dr. Moen said.

About Copernicus and the University of Oklahoma

Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, is dedicated to delivering the promise of nucleic acid therapeutics. The same technology that is being tested for its ability to deliver corrective nucleic acids for various blinding disorders is being developed for introducing the cystic fibrosis gene to the lungs of CF patients. The Copernicus multi-component delivery platform can be used to develop nucleic acid therapies for numerous human diseases. Additional information about Copernicus is available at www.cgsys.com.

The University of Oklahoma is a doctoral degree-granting research university serving the educational, cultural, economic and health care needs of the state, region and nation. The OU Health Sciences Center, which is located in Oklahoma City, is one of only four comprehensive academic health centers in the nation with seven professional colleges. Additional information about University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center is available at www.ouhsc.edu.

Contacts

Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc.
Robert C. Moen, M.D., Ph.D., 216-231-0227 x26
President & CEO
OR
Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc.
Mark J. Cooper, M.D., 216-231-0227 x23
Sr. V.P. of Science and Medical Affairs
OR
University of Oklahoma
Catherine F. Bishop, 405-325-1543
Vice President Public Affairs

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