SOUTH SAN FRANCISO, Calif., Nov. 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OXiGENE, Inc., (Nasdaq:OXGN), a clinical-stage, biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer and eye diseases, announced today that the Company has been awarded $733,000 in tax credit grants by the U.S Internal Revenue Service (section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code or IRC) under a new program created as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, called the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project. The credit is a tax benefit awarded to therapeutic discovery projects that show a reasonable potential to result in new therapies that treat areas of unmet medical need or prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions. OXiGENE intends to use the proceeds of the grant funds to continue its trials of ZYBRESTAT and OXi4503.

"We are gratified that our clinical programs have merited recognition from the IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services under this new government program, and we welcome this timely infusion of cash to support ongoing development of ZYBRESTAT and OXi4503," said Peter J. Langecker, M.D., Ph.D., OXiGENE chief executive officer. "This grant award supplements our ongoing efforts to pursue additional strategies to fund our ongoing operations and will help us to advance each of our development programs."

About ZYBRESTAT (fosbretabulin)

ZYBRESTAT is being evaluated in a Phase 2 study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and other clinical trials. OXiGENE believes that ZYBRESTAT is poised to become an important product in a novel class of small-molecule drug candidates called vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). Through interaction with vascular endothelial cell cytoskeletal proteins, ZYBRESTAT selectively targets and collapses tumor vasculature, thereby depriving the tumor of oxygen and causing death of tumor cells. In clinical trials in solid tumors, ZYBRESTAT has demonstrated potent and selective activity against tumor vasculature, as well as clinical activity against ATC, ovarian cancer and various other solid tumors.