Amira Pharmaceuticals Announces the Nomination of an Orally Available Pre-Clinical Candidate in a New LPA-Related Program, an Autotaxin Inhibitor

By Amira Pharmaceuticals Inc., PRNE
Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Potential Utility in Various Cancers

SAN DIEGO, December 15, 2010 - Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has successfully
identified a novel pre-clinical candidate for its newest lysophosphatidic
acid (LPA)-related program, autotaxin. Autotaxin is an enzyme upstream from
LPA receptors and has been implicated in a number of diseases including
rheumatoid arthritis, glioblastoma, lung, breast, ovarian and thyroid

"We are pleased to announce that we have identified an orally
bioavailable and highly selective autotoxin inhibitor," said Peppi Prasit,
Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer. "Previous published data implicates
autotaxin as a potent stimulator of tumor cell motility. Cells over
expressing autotaxin result in amplified tumorigenesis and metastatic
potential. These observations when combined with our recent pre-clinical
experiments, which demonstrated that an autotaxin-specific inhibitor can
successfully inhibit tumor metastases, are quite exciting."

Bob Baltera, Chief Executive Officer added, "As we have stated before, we
are committed to exploring the science and medicine related to the LPA
pathway. We believe there are numerous potential drug targets in this
pathway, and our autotaxin inhibitor is the latest in our portfolio of
LPA-related drug targets, which also includes our LPA1 receptor antagonist
AM152 which is currently in phase 1 clinical trials. While a great deal of
work remains in advancing the autotaxin program to the clinic, we look
forward to communicating our progress in 2011."

About Amira

Founded in 2005 and headquartered in San Diego, Amira Pharmaceuticals is
a small molecule pharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and
development of new drugs to treat inflammatory disease. Our discovery team is
building on unparalleled insights into bioactive lipid pathways and complex
signaling processes controlling many conditions including asthma, chronic
obstructive pulmonary disease, fibrotic diseases and cancer. Amira combines
the rigor of a big pharmaceutical company with the ingenuity and energy of a
small company, creating an environment for efficient development of novel
compounds and effective pre-clinical and clinical program decisions. Amira
has a partnership with GlaxoSmithKline for the development of FLAP
(5-lipoxygenase activating protein) inhibitors in respiratory and
cardiovascular disease. For more information, visit

Ian Stone of Russo Partners, +1-619-528-2220, ian.stone at, for Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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