NORCROSS, Ga., May 28, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Galectin Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq:GALT), the leading developer of therapeutics that target galectin proteins to treat fibrosis and cancer, today announced that it has received a notice of allowance from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office for patent application number 13/998,197 titled "Galactose-Pronged Carbohydrate Compounds for the Treatment of Diabetic Nephropathy and Associated Disorders." The patent covers both composition claim for and uses of the Company's carbohydrate-based galectin inhibitor compound GR-MD-02 in patients with diabetic nephropathy, a type of progressive kidney disease that occurs in individuals with diabetes. Diabetic nephropathy is the major cause for chronic renal failure in the United States. "This patent provides coverage for additional use of GR-MD-02, our proprietary galectin inhibitor, which has shown in studies to have a powerful therapeutic effect on fibrosis and inflammation," said Dr. Peter G. Traber, President, Chief Executive Officer, and Chief Medical Officer of Galectin Therapeutics Inc. "Evidence suggests that inflammatory mechanisms play a significant role in the development and progression of diabetic nephropathy. Additionally, in pre-clinical studies, we found that treatment of diabetic mice with GR-MD-02 reversed diabetic nephropathy. This patent, which also covers other glomerulopathies that cause renal failure, secures the path forward for the Company's exploration of the effects of galectin inhibition in diabetic nephropathy, which affects approximately 40 percent of type 1 and type 2 diabetic patients." Galectin Therapeutics is currently conducting a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety, tolerability and exploratory biomarkers for efficacy for single and multiple doses of GR-MD-02 over four weekly doses of GR-MD-02 treatment in patients with fatty liver disease with advanced fibrosis. The results from first cohort showed that the 2 mg/kg dose was safe and very well tolerated, and that GR-MD-02 treatment resulted in significant improvement in multiple biomarkers of liver fibrosis and inflammation in patients with NASH with advanced fibrosis.