Raptor Pharmaceutical Completes Enrollment in Phase 2/3 Clinical Trial of RP103 for the Potential Treatment of Huntington’s Disease

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un 18, 2012 (GlobeNewswire via COMTEX) — Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. (“Raptor” or the “Company”) RPTP +1.22% , today announced that enrollment is complete in its Phase 2/3 clinical trial of Cysteamine Bitartrate Delayed-release Capsules (RP103) for the potential treatment of Huntington’s Disease. The 96-patient, Phase 2/3 clinical trial is being conducted under a collaboration agreement with The Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d’Angers (“CHU d’Angers”), with 8 active clinical sites throughout France.

The clinical trial is an 18-month, double-blind, placebo-controlled study to be followed by an open-label extension study with all patients taking RP103 for up to an additional 18 months. The primary end point of the clinical trial is based upon the Unified Huntington’s Disease Rating Scale (“UHDRS”). Blood levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (“BDNF”) are being measured as a secondary endpoint. Under the collaboration agreement with CHU d’Angers, Raptor supplies RP103 and placebo capsules for the clinical trial and open-label extension study in exchange for regulatory and commercial rights to the clinical trial results. Clinical expenses of the study are covered by a grant from the French government (PHRC 2004-03bis CYST-HD). Interim results of this study following 18 months of treatment are expected to be announced in the first half of calendar 2014.

Christophe Verny, M.D., of CHU d’Angers, said, “Having completed enrollment of patients, we are excited to analyze the data and examine the potential of delayed release cysteamine as a neuroprotectant for treating Huntington’s Disease. We hope this clinical trial will indicate whether RP103 could potentially lead to a new treatment for this serious, debilitating disease.”

“The completion of enrollment in the Phase 2/3 clinical trial is an exciting milestone for this program and we look forward to next announcing interim results of the blinded phase of this clinical trial in the first half of calendar 2014,” said Dr. Patrice P. Rioux, Raptor’s Chief Medical Officer. “Preclinical data published by researchers from the Curie Institute in France suggested that cysteamine increased brain and blood levels of BDNF, a growth factor known to be deficient in Huntington’s Disease patients. We look forward to examining the results of this clinical trial to see if RP103 could slow the progression of Huntington’s Disease. At present, the standard of care for Huntington’s Disease is limited to therapies that can help to minimize some of the symptoms, but do not slow disease progression by targeting the underlying causes of the disease.”

Raptor holds exclusive worldwide licenses to intellectual property related to cysteamine for the potential treatment of Huntington’s Disease from the University of California, San Diego and from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and Japan’s Niigata University. In 2008, Raptor received FDA orphan drug designation for cysteamine for the potential treatment of Huntington’s Disease.

On June 8, 2012, Dr. Adriana Prundean of CHU d’Angers provided an overview of this clinical trial in Las Vegas at the Huntington’s Disease Society of America’s Annual Convention, the largest gathering of Huntington’s Disease families in the United States.

About Huntington’s Disease

Huntington’s Disease is a rare, progressive, and hereditary neurological disease that often leads to death within 15 to 20 years after diagnosis. The disease is thought to affect as many as 20,000 to 30,000 patients in the U.S. and a comparable number in Europe. There is no currently available drug that targets the defective gene believed to cause Huntington’s Disease, which results in the degeneration of certain nerve cells in the brain. The disease is characterized by uncontrollable movements and mood swings or depression, followed by dementia.

About Cysteamine and RP103

RP103 is Raptor’s proprietary delayed release oral medication currently being investigating in several indications. RP103 is an enteric coated, microbead formulation of cysteamine bitartrate.

In December 2007, Raptor obtained an exclusive, worldwide license from the University of California, San Diego for the development of RP103 and other forms of cysteamine for the potential treatment of metabolic and neurological diseases. Raptor is currently conducting a Phase 2/3 clinical trial of RP103 to potentially treat Huntington’s Disease in France described above; a Phase 2b clinical trial of RP103 in the U.S. to potentially treat non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (“NASH”); and has recently filed for marketing approval of RP103 in the U.S. and E.U. for the potential treatment of nephropathic cystinosis. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has accepted for filing Raptor’s New Drug Application (“NDA”) for RP103 for the potential treatment of nephropathic cystinosis and assigned the user fee goal date of January 30, 2013. Raptor’s E.U. marketing application of RP103 for the potential treatment of nephropathic cystinosis is under review by the EMA, and Raptor expects a decision in the first half of calendar 2013. In 2010, the Company acquired an exclusive worldwide license to intellectual property covering the use of transglutaminase inhibitors, a class of molecules chemically similar to cysteamine, in the potential treatment of Huntington’s Disease and other neurological disorders from the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel and Niigata University in Japan. Raptor has been granted orphan product designation for RP103 for the potential treatment for nephropathic cystinosis by the European Medicines Agency and the FDA and for the potential treatment of Huntington’s Disease by the FDA.

About Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp.

Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. RPTP +1.22% (“Raptor”) seeks to research, produce, and deliver medicines that improve life for patients with severe, rare disorders. Raptor currently has product candidates in clinical development designed to potentially treat nephropathic cystinosis, Non-alcoholic Steatohepatitis (“NASH”), Huntington’s Disease (“HD”), aldehyde dehydrogenase deficiency (“ALDH2”), and thrombotic disorder.

Raptor’s preclinical programs are based upon bioengineered novel drug candidates and drug-targeting platforms derived from the human receptor-associated protein and related proteins that are designed to target cancer and infectious diseases.

For additional information, please visit www.raptorpharma.com .

The Raptor Pharmaceutical Corp. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=7180

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Source: marketwatch.com

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