CRANBURY, N.J., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Palatin Technologies, Inc. (NYSE MKT: PTN), a biopharmaceutical company developing targeted, receptor-specific peptide therapeutics for the treatment of diseases with significant unmet medical need and commercial potential, announced today that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a Notice of Allowance for U.S. Patent Application Serial Number 13/472,914 (the '914 application). The application includes composition of matter claims on two of Palatin's most advanced melanocortin receptor-1 specific peptides. Palatin is conducting in vitro and animal in vivo studies with the peptides claimed in the allowed patent and with related peptides. Proposed indications under study include dermatologic indications such as vitiligo and erythropoietic protoporphyria, inflammatory bowel disease, ocular indications such as uveitis and dry eye, and nephritis and other kidney conditions. Palatin plans to designate an initial clinical lead peptide candidate in the first half of 2013 and start toxicology and other preclinical studies preparatory to filing an Investigational New Drug Application with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The peptides claimed in the '914 application are highly specific for the melanocortin-1 receptor, with sub-nanomolar affinity binding and EC 50 functional values. The peptides are also highly selective for the melanocortin-1 receptor, with greater than one thousand times the affinity for the melanocortin-1 receptor than for the melanocortin-4 or melanocortin-3 receptors. "We are excited by the potential of our novel melanocortin receptor-1 peptides," stated Carl Spana, Ph.D., President and CEO of Palatin. "There are a number of significant unmet medical needs for which our highly specific and selective peptides can potentially provide new therapies." A Notice of Allowance is issued after the USPTO makes a determination that a patent can be granted from an application. The issued patent would have a term that expires no earlier than in 2030. The 13/472,914 Notice of Allowance has been posted on the USPTO public PAIR website.