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ARCA biopharma, Inc. (Nasdaq: ABIO) today announced that it has entered into a license agreement with the University of Cincinnati for exclusive worldwide rights to a portfolio of U.S. and international patents, which includes certain patents covering genetic markers for the Company’s lead drug candidate, Gencaro
TM (bucindolol hydrochloride), which is being developed for the treatment of chronic heart failure.
The licensed patents relate to genetic polymorphisms of adrenergic cardiac receptors which the Company believes provide the basis for exclusive worldwide development, use and commercialization of the genetic test which may indicate a patient’s likely response to Gencaro as a treatment for multiple cardiovascular disorders. The licensed patents had been the subject of an Exclusive License Agreement between the Company and the University of Cincinnati executed in December 2009. ARCA has been awarded a patent from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (March 2010) and a patent from the European Patent Office (October 2010) on methods of treating heart failure patients with bucindolol based on genetic testing.
The Company has previously entered into a commercialization and licensing agreement with Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp) to develop, produce, market and sell diagnostic tests in connection with the medical prescription of Gencaro.
TM (bucindolol hydrochloride) is a pharmacologically unique beta-blocker and mild vasodilator being developed for the treatment of chronic heart failure (HF). Gencaro is an oral tablet formulation, dosed twice daily. Gencaro is considered part of the beta-blocker class because of its property of blocking beta-1 as well as beta-2 receptors in the heart, preventing these receptors from binding with other molecules that would otherwise activate the receptor. Because of its mild vasodilator effects, the Company believes Gencaro is well-tolerated in patients with advanced HF.
The FDA has previously designated as a Fast Track development program the investigation of Gencaro for the reduction of cardiovascular mortality and cardiovascular hospitalizations in a genotype-defined heart failure population.