San Diego, Calif., February 28, 2007 – Vascular BioSciences announced today that it has secured a worldwide exclusive license to intellectual property from Burnham Institute for Medical Research relating to work done by Erkki Ruoslahti MD, Ph.D., and Masanobu Komatsu, Ph.D. on their discovery of the role of the intracellular protein R-Ras in neointimal hyperplasia, angiogenesis and vascular proliferation. R-Ras is a small GTPase of the Ras family that regulates cell survival and integrin activity. Drs. Komatsu and Ruoslahti found that R-Ras exerts a strong inhibitory effect on mitotic and invasive activities of activated endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells, and promotes quiescence of these cells.
The discovery of this unexpected role for R-Ras in blood vessel homeostasis will enable Vascular BioSciences to target R-Ras signaling for therapeutic intervention in a wide range of disorders characterized by pathological vascular remodeling, vascular cell proliferation and endothelial activation. Such diseases include atherosclerosis, sepsis, systemic and pulmonary hypertension, diabetic vasculopathies, acute respiratory distress syndrome, post-angioplasty restenosis, collagen vascular diseases and other conditions. The ability of R-Ras to promote vascular quiescence may also be useful in anti-angiogenesis therapies for cancer and the engineering of mature blood vessels.
David Mann, CEO and Chairman of Vascular BioSciences commented, “This license agreement with the Burnham Institute for Medical Research represents an extremely important expansion to our existing intellectual property portfolio and product pipeline. In addition to securing this valuable worldwide exclusive license, we gain the ability to work closely with internationally renowned scientists like Drs. Komatsu and Ruoslahti to develop novel innovative treatments for vascular diseases.”
Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti, Distinguished Professor and former President of Burnham Institute for Medical Research commented, “I believe that R-Ras opens up some entirely new possibilities for the treatment of vascular diseases and look forward to working with Vascular BioSciences on further development of this technology.”
About Vascular BioSciences & VBS Pharmaceuticals
Vascular BioSciences, a diversified biomedical company based in San Diego, California, provides solutions for vascular-based diseases in order to enhance and prolong human life.
Vascular BioSciences makes interventional catheters to obtain endoarterial biopsies, provides diagnostic services, and advances therapies in order to improve outcomes for vascular-based disease patients.
A newly formed majority-owned subsidiary, VBS Pharmaceuticals, has been created to provide a framework for Vascular BioSciences to engage in drug discovery and pharmaceutical development targeting vascular-based diseases.
About Burnham Institute for Medical Research.
Burnham Institute for Medical Research conducts world-class collaborative research dedicated to finding cures for human disease, improving quality of life, and thus creating a legacy for its employees, partners, donors, and community. The La Jolla, CA campus was established as a nonprofit public benefit corporation in 1976 and is now home to three major centers: the National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center, the Del E. Webb Center for Neurosciences and Aging, and the Infectious and Inflammatory Disease Center. Burnham today employs over 750 people and ranks consistently among the world’s top 20 research institutes. In 2006, Burnham established a presence at the University of California, Santa Barbara, led by Dr. Erkki Ruoslahti, Distinguished Professor. Burnham is also establishing a campus at Lake Nona in Orlando, Florida that will focus on diabetes and obesity research and expand the Institute’s drug discovery capabilities. For additional information about Burnham and to learn about ways to support its research, visit www.sanfordburnham.org.