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Avigen Cites Progress in Potential Bleeding Disorder Therapy

Avigen, a pharmaceutical company based in Alameda, CA, reported positive results in the development of an orally administered drug, AV513, for the treatment of hemophilia and related bleeding disorders. AV513 contains fucoidan, a type of polysaccharide (carbohydrate that contains sugar molecules linked together chemically) extracted from sea algae.

Studies designed to test the efficacy and safety of AV513 in dogs with severe hemophilia A yielded promising data. The drug was administered to the animals subcutaneously or orally twice daily in intermittent, weekly escalating doses over the course of several months. The dogs showed improved bleeding times and no adverse side effects

"The implications of these data are far reaching and set the stage for further development of AV513 as a novel pharmaceutical approach to improving hemostasis in patients suffering from life-threatening bleeding disorders," said Ken Chahine, PhD, JD, President and Chief Executive Officer of Avigen.

Although further studies need to be conducted, AV513 could potentially be the first orally delivered therapy for bleeding disorder patients, reducing the number of requisite clotting factor infusions. Avigen believes that success in future trials of AV513 could lead to therapeutic and healthcare cost savings. "We look forward to fully exploring AV513's utility in clinical settings where its use as supplemental therapy may help reduce the frequency and therefore the cost of factor replacement therapy," added Chahine.

A presentation of Avigen's study findings, "A Therapeutic Benefit from Non-Anticoagulant Sulfated Polysaccharide (NASP) Treatment in Hemophilic Dogs," was given on May 24, 2006 at the World Federation of Hemophilia Annual Congress in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Source: Avigen press release dated May 24, 2006