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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Copernicus to Receive Increased Support from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics to Further Development of its Non-Viral Gene Therapy for Cystic Fibrosis

Cleveland, Feb. 15, 2007 – Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., announced today it will receive up to $5.2 million from Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Therapeutics, Inc. (CFFT) to support continued development of a potential gene therapy for cystic fibrosis. This continued funding is a result of satisfactory progress shown in 2006.

Copernicus’ unique, non-viral nanoparticle formulation is intended to deliver a normal copy of the CF gene to the affected lung cells of CF patients, and may provide a therapy that treats the root cause of CF. Copernicus’ first clinical trial, supported by CFFT, demonstrated the desired safety profile and encouraging biological changes were observed.

Cystic fibrosis is the most common life-threatening genetic disease in the United States, affecting approximately 30,000 children and adults. It causes serious lung infections and digestive complications. About 10 million Americans are unknowing carriers of a CF gene.

“We have had a productive relationship for a number of years with CFFT and we share the common goal of providing a safe and effective therapeutic for people with CF,” said Robert C. Moen, M.D., Ph.D., president and CEO of Copernicus. “Our relationship with CFFT involves not only financial support, but also support at the scientific level through a research review committee comprised of outstanding academic scientists active in the areas required for development of a successful product. We look forward to working with CFFT in meeting the critical need for an effective gene-based therapy for the lung manifestations of CF.”

“We are encouraged by the promise of Copernicus’ technology and the scientific rigor the firm is applying to the development process,” said Robert J. Beall, Ph.D., president and CEO of the CF Foundation and CFFT. “Gene-based therapies offer hope for potentially lifesaving treatments that tackle the root cause of CF, rather than just the symptoms. We are grateful for the many people that generously support CFF and provide CFFT with critical financial resources to support this kind of research.”

About the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, CFFT, and Copernicus

Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc., a privately held biotechnology company, is dedicated to delivering the promise of nucleic acid therapeutics. The same technology that is being tested for its ability to deliver the CF gene to the lung of CF patients can be applied to treating serious lung infections caused by influenza A, bird flu, and other respiratory viruses, as well as for treating a variety of blinding disorders. The Copernicus multi-component delivery platform can be used to develop nucleic acid therapies for numerous human diseases. Additional information about Copernicus is available at http://www.cgsys.com.

The mission of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is to assure the development of the means to cure and control CF, and to improve the quality of life for those with the disease. CFFT is the nonprofit drug development affiliate of the CF Foundation that operates drug discovery, development and evaluation efforts. Total support for CFFT is provided by the CF Foundation. The CF Foundation has initiated a special gifts campaign, Milestones to a Cure, with a target goal of $175 million to support programs like the one with Copernicus. For more information about CF, the CF Foundation or CFFT, call (800) FIGHT CF or visit www.cff.org.

Contact:  Robert C. Moen, M.D., Ph.D., President & CEO
Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc.
(216) 231-0227 x26
Mark J. Cooper, M.D., Sr. V.P. of Science and Medical Affairs
Copernicus Therapeutics, Inc.
(216) 231-0227 x23
  Laurie Fink, Director of Media Relations
Cystic Fibrosis Foundation
(301) 841-2602
 

 

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation is an accredited charity of the Better Business Bureau.