Arena Pharmaceuticals Announces Initiation of Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Second Generation Niacin Receptor Agonist Under Its Collaboration With Merck & Co., Inc.
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
(Nasdaq: ARNA) announced today that Merck & Co., Inc. initiated a Phase 1
clinical trial of a second generation oral niacin receptor agonist under a
collaboration between the companies to discover drugs for the treatment of
atherosclerosis and other disorders. The initiation of this trial does not
trigger a milestone payment.
"We are very pleased with the progress of this collaboration investigating
the therapeutic potential of niacin receptor agonists to treat atherosclerosis
and other disorders. We are looking forward to the Phase 1 results and the
continued progress of the program," said Jack Lief, Arena's President and
Chief Executive Officer.
Arena also announced that preclinical investigation of MK-0354, a first
generation niacin receptor agonist being evaluated for indications other than
atherosclerosis, was discontinued for compound specific reasons.
Atherosclerosis is characterized by the collection of fatty material
deposits, such as cholesterol, along artery walls. This fatty material
thickens, hardens, and may eventually block the arteries, adversely affecting
blood flow and increasing the risk of heart attack and stroke over time. The
American Heart Association estimates that atherosclerosis accounts for nearly
75% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol, commonly known
as the "good" cholesterol, can help clear the fatty deposits from the walls of
blood vessels and transport cholesterol to the liver for processing and
removal from the body. Drugs that can influence the levels of HDL cholesterol,
or "good" cholesterol, may potentially provide clinical benefits to patients
by reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The niacin receptor, a G
protein-coupled receptor, or GPCR, is believed to have potential in regulating
plasma lipid profiles, including HDL.
About Arena Pharmaceuticals
Arena is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering,
developing and commercializing oral drugs in four major therapeutic areas:
cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammatory and metabolic diseases.
Arena's most advanced drug candidate, lorcaserin, is being investigated in a
Phase 3 clinical trial program for the treatment of obesity. Arena's broad
pipeline of novel compounds targeting G protein-coupled receptors, an
important class of validated drug targets, includes compounds being evaluated
independently and with its partners, Merck & Co., Inc. and Ortho-McNeil
Arena Pharmaceuticals® and Arena® are registered service marks of the
company. "APD" is an abbreviation for Arena Pharmaceuticals Development.
Certain statements in this press release are forward-looking statements
that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking
statements include statements about the therapeutic and other potential of
niacin receptor agonists; the results of the Phase 1 clinical trial of a
second generation niacin receptor agonist; the continuation and progress of
the collaboration between Merck and Arena and the activities and program
thereunder; the niacin receptor's potential in regulating plasma lipid
profiles; the potential of drugs that influence HDL cholesterol to provide
clinical benefits to patients; and about Arena's strategy, internal and
partnered programs, and ability to develop compounds and commercialize drugs.
For such statements, Arena claims the protection of the Private Securities
Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Actual events or results may differ materially
from Arena's expectations. Factors that could cause actual results to differ
materially from the forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to,
planned clinical trials and studies may not proceed at the time or in the
manner Arena expects or at all, the results of preclinical studies or clinical
trials may not be predictive of future results, Arena's ability to partner
lorcaserin, APD125, APD791 or other of its compounds or programs, the timing,
success and cost of Arena's research, out-licensing endeavors and clinical
trials, Arena's ability to obtain additional financing, Arena's ability to
obtain and defend its patents, and the timing and receipt of payments and fees,
if any, from Arena's collaborators. Additional factors that could cause actual
results to differ materially from those stated or implied by Arena's forward-
looking statements are disclosed in Arena's filings with the Securities and
Exchange Commission. These forward-looking statements represent Arena's
judgment as of the time of this release. Arena disclaims any intent or
obligation to update these forward-looking statements, other than as may be
required under applicable law.
SOURCE Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
CONTACT: Jack Lief, President and CEO, or David Walsey, Director,
Corporate Communications, both of Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.,
+1-858-453-7200, ext. 1682; or Mary Claire Duch, Media Relations of WeissComm
Partners, +1-212-301-7228, for Arena Pharmaceuticals, Inc.