NEW YORK, Oct. 22, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq:SGYP), a developer of new drugs to treat gastrointestinal disorders and diseases, today announced a presentation on SP-333, the company's second investigational drug from the guanylate cyclase-C agonist class, at the American College of Gastroenterology 77 th annual meeting, which is being held in Las Vegas, NV from October 19-24, 2012. The presentation highlights pioneering research demonstrating that SP-333 ameliorates colitis in mice through inhibition of NF-kappa B activation. SP-333 recently entered clinical trials as an experimental drug for the treatment of ulcerative colitis, and is presently in a Phase I trial in healthy volunteers. The poster presentation is on Sunday October 21, 2012 from 3:30-7:00PM in Exhibit Hall B at The Venetian. Poster Title:SP-333, a Proteolysis-resistant Agonist of Guanylate Cyclase-C, Inhibits Activation of NF-ĸB and Suppresses Production of Inflammatory Cytokines to Ameliorate DSS-induced Colitis in Mice (P414), authored by Graham Zhang, Krishna P. Arjunan, John A. Foss, Stephen J. Comiskey and Kunwar Shailubhai. "SP-333 is a highly potent oral drug candidate for treatment of GI inflammatory diseases," stated Dr. Gary S. Jacob, President and CEO of Synergy Pharmaceuticals. "SP-333 broadens our clinical portfolio of novel GC-C agonists for treatment of GI disorders and diseases." "The transcription factor NF-ĸappa B is known to be abnormally active in many inflammatory diseases and cancers," said Dr. Kunwar Shailubhai, Chief Scientific Officer of Synergy Pharmaceuticals. "The study we report here, demonstrating that treatment with SP-333 inhibits activation of NF-kappa B, is an exciting scientific finding that opens a new avenue for treatment of ulcerative colitis. Oral treatment with SP-333, a first-in-class guanylate cyclase-C (GC-C) agonist to treat ulcerative colitis, showed impressive anti-inflammatory activity in experimental models of colitis in mice." About SP-333 SP-333 is a synthetic analog of uroguanylin, a natriuretic hormone which is normally produced in the body's intestinal tract. Deficiency of uroguanylin is likely to be one of the primary reasons associated with formation of polyps as well as debilitating and difficult-to-treat GI inflammatory disorders such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Orally-administered SP-333 binds to and activates guanylate cyclase C (GC-C) expressed on epithelial cells lining the GI mucosa, resulting in stimulation of cyclic GMP in target tissues. SP-333 has been found to be highly stable against proteolysis in simulated intestinal fluid for up to 24 hours. Its enhanced stability makes this peptide an extremely potent GC-C agonist in animal studies in mice and monkeys, promoting bowel movement in monkeys, and ameliorating GI inflammation in mice, respectively.