Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Acquires Malignant Melanoma Radiotherapeutic Drug Candidate From Bayer Schering Pharma

Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Acquires Malignant Melanoma Radiotherapeutic Drug Candidate From Bayer Schering Pharma

CAMBRIDGE, MA, USA | Jan 17, 2006 |
Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today that it has entered into a worldwide, exclusive licensing agreement with Bayer Schering Pharma to acquire ZK-BA, a compound in development for the treatment of malignant melanoma. ZK-BA (Solazed(TM)) joins Azedra(TM) (Ultratrace(TM) iobenguane I 131) and Onalta(TM) (an yttrium-90 radiolabeled somatostatin peptide analog) in Molecular Insight's portfolio of targeted radiotherapeutic product candidates.

Under terms of the agreement, Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals will pay Bayer Schering Pharma a licensing fee and additional payments upon completion of certain regulatory milestones, with royalties payable to Schering upon commercialization of the product. Further terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Solazed is a proprietary, small molecule, benzamide compound that targets melanin, an oxygenated form of the amino acid tyrosine, which is over-expressed in approximately 40 percent of melanoma tumors. The compound can be labeled with Iodine-131 for use as a targeted radiotherapeutic and with Iodine-123 for imaging. In preclinical studies in xenograft mouse models, Solazed demonstrated a reduction in tumor volume and a survival benefit. The compound has also been evaluated in a small, investigator sponsored trial in Europe in which the compound displayed significant and prolonged accumulation in melanoma tumors.

There are approximately 48,000 new cases of melanoma in the United States annually and about 15,000 deaths. Molecular Insight plans to develop Solazed initially for patients with advanced disease.

About Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the emerging field of molecular medicine, applying innovations in the identification and targeting of disease at the molecular level to improve patient healthcare by addressing significant unmet needs. The company is focused on discovering, developing and commercializing innovative and targeted radiotherapeutics and molecular imaging pharmaceuticals with initial applications in the areas of oncology and cardiology. Molecular Insight's lead radiotherapeutic product candidates, Azedra and Onalta, are under development for the treatment of cancer. The company's lead molecular imaging pharmaceutical product candidate, ZemivaTM (iodofiltic acid I 123), is in development for the diagnosis of cardiac ischemia, an insufficient blood flow to the heart. Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals is based in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The company's website is:

Contact: Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Priscilla Harlan, 617-492-5554 Vice President, Corporate Communications

SOURCE: Molecular Insight Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

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