KAI Reports Positive Preclinical Results in Pain Therapeutic Program Targeting Gamma Protein Kinase C (PKC) Pathway

KAI Reports Positive Preclinical Results in Pain Therapeutic Program Targeting Gamma Protein Kinase C (PKC) Pathway

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., October 20, 2009 -- KAI Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a privately held drug discovery and development company, announced positive preclinical results from its program targeting the gamma protein kinase C (PKC) pathway for the development of novel therapies for pain. This program, which is the Company's second in the pain area, is advancing towards IND-enabling studies based on preclinical data presented in a poster at Neuroscience 2009, the 39th annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience, taking place in Chicago, IL from October 17-21. KAI's most-advanced pain program is focused on KAI-1678, a first-in-class, isozyme-selective, small peptide inhibitor of epsilon PKC, which is currently enrolling patients in multiple phase 2a clinical studies.

Preclinical data, generated in studies undertaken with Dr. Sarah Sweitzer at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, demonstrate that a selective, intracellular peptide-based gamma PKC inhibitor is effective in reversing allodynia, a primary component of neuropathic pain. The joint research team also determined that the gamma PKC inhibitor acts specifically on a part of the central nervous system (the dorsal horn of the spinal cord) that is involved in how individuals process pain.

Stephen D. Harrison, Ph.D., KAI's Senior Vice President of Research commented, "Our preclinical data provide confirmation of the role of novel, isozyme-selective gamma PKC inhibitors in central sensitization associated with secondary mechanical allodynia. Based on these data, we are strongly positioned to identify clinical candidates for single-agent use as well as potential combination therapy with our epsilon PKC inhibitor, which is currently in phase 2 clinical testing in several pain indications. This research has increased our understanding of the use of peptide therapeutics in pain, which in turn may lead to important innovations for the treatment of patients with unmet medical needs."

Additional information on the poster presentation at Neuroscience 2009:

KAI's poster titled, "Effects of PKC epsilon and gamma in capsaicin-induced mechanical hyperalgesia" (Poster Session No. 459, Poster No. 15/BB21), was presented yesterday, October 19th, from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Central Time in South Hall A in McCormick Place. The presenters were Dr. Stephen Harrison, Senior Vice President of Research at KAI Pharmaceuticals, and Dr. Sarah Sweitzer, Pharmacology, Physiology and Neuroscience at University of South Carolina School of Medicine.

Background on Pain

Approximately 50 million people in the United States suffer from some form of persistent pain. Overall, four out of ten people suffering moderate-to-severe pain are unable to find adequate pain relief, according to a survey by the American Pain Society. There is a major need for novel therapeutics with unique mechanisms of action that provide effective pain relief with reduced side effects. Current treatments for pain, such as opioids and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can be limited by serious side effects and inadequate efficacy.

About KAI Pharmaceuticals

KAI is a drug discovery and development company with novel clinical-stage programs in cardiovascular disease and pain. KAI's lead product candidate, KAI-9803, is currently in a Phase 2b study (PROTECTION AMI) designed to assess the effect of KAI-9803 on reducing myocardial injury in heart attack patients. KAI's second clinical program, KAI-1678, has the potential to address both the inflammatory and neuropathic pain markets and currently is in multiple Phase 2a studies.

KAI is the leader in the selective modulation of intracellular protein:protein interactions and delivery of peptides into the cell. This approach has broad potential and has been validated clinically. The Company has applied its core expertise to discover highly potent and selective inhibitors and activators for PKC protein kinase C (PKC) isozymes. KAI is based in South San Francisco, California, and can be found online at www.kaipharma.com.