TEL AVIV, Israel, Jan. 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bioblast Pharma Ltd. (Nasdaq:ORPN), a clinical-stage, orphan disease-focused biotechnology company, will host a KOL lunch on the subject of orphan neurological diseases and treatments at 12pm on Thursday, February 2, 2017 in New York City.

Bioblast management will provide an overview of the Company's ongoing clinical development work with trehalose 90 mg/mL IV solution, a proprietary first-in-class therapeutic. Trehalose is currently in Phase 2 development for the treatment of oculopharyngeal muscular dystrophy (OPMD) and spinocerebellar ataxia, type 3 (SCA3).  The keynote presentation will be made by Bernard Brais, MD, a leading neurologist and Professor of Neurology and Human Genetics at McGill University.  He is Co-Director of the Rare Neurological Diseases Group of the Montreal Neurological Institute, one of the leading institutions specializing in the treatment of OPMD. Dr. Brais will discuss OPMD while Warren Wasiewski, MD, Bioblast's Chief Medical Officer and Head of R&D, will cover the preclinical and clinical results for trehalose in both OPMD and SCA3.

Dr. Brais specializes in the clinical care and genetic basis of muscular dystrophies and other rare neurogenetic disorders. Over the last two decades, he has been recognized as an international leader on OPMD. In 1998, he published a paper on the first PABPN1 mutations responsible for OPMD in Nature Genetics. He also helped to first document the presence of mutated PABPN1 in the intranuclear inclusions underlying the pathology of OPMD, later showing that many RNA binding proteins were also aggregated in the inclusions.

Dr. Brais has followed the largest global cohort of OPMD cases since the early 1990s. Since 1998, he has overseen a cohort of more than 1,400 OPMD cases.

The lunch event is intended for institutional investors and analysts only.  Please RSVP in advance if you plan to attend, as space is limited.  To reserve a spot, please reply to this email or contact LifeSci Advisors, LLC at

A live webcast of the event, with slides, will be available at and within the Investors section of the Company's website at

Trehalose proprietary position

Bioblast has received a U.S. patent for administration of trehalose to treat SCA3 (and OPMD) that is expected to expire in 2033. In addition, the Company has secured Orphan Drug Designation for SCA3 and OPMD in the U.S. and in the EU.

Trehalose is a protein stabilizer that also activates autophagy and crosses the blood-brain barrier

Trehalose is a low molecular weight disaccharide (.342 kDa) that protects against pathological processes in cells. It has been shown to penetrate muscle and cross the blood-brain barrier. In animal models of several diseases associated with abnormal cellular-protein aggregation, it has been shown to reduce pathological aggregation of misfolded proteins as well as to activate autophagy pathways through the activation of Transcription Factor EB (TFEB), a key factor in lysosomal and autophagy gene expression. Activation of TFEB is an emerging therapeutic target for a number of diseases with pathologic accumulation of storage material.

About Oculopharyngeal Muscular Dystrophy (OPMD) OPMD is an inherited myopathy characterized by dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), eyelid drooping (ptosis) and the loss of muscle strength in multiple muscles of the limbs.  Symptoms generally appear in mid-life and get worse over time.  As the dysphagia becomes more severe, patients may become malnourished, may lose significant weight, and may suffer from repeated incidents of aspiration pneumonia. The disease is caused by a genetic mutation responsible for the creation of a mutant protein (PABPN1) with an expanded polyalanine domain that aggregates within patient muscle cells.  There is no approved pharmacologic treatment for OPMD.

About Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 3 (SCA3; Machado-Joseph Disease) SCA3, also known as Machado-Joseph disease, is the most common form of hereditary cerebellar ataxias, which are a group of genetic diseases characterized by ataxia, spasticity, difficulty with speech and swallowing, weakness in arms and memory deficits. Symptoms can begin in early adolescence and get worse over time. Eventually SCA3 leads to paralysis, and severe cases can lead to an early death in the fourth decade of life. SCA3 is currently considered incurable, and there is no approved pharmacologic treatment for SCA3.

About Bioblast Pharma Ltd. Bioblast Pharma is a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to developing clinically meaningful therapies for patients with rare and ultra-rare genetic diseases.  Bioblast is traded on the NASDAQ under the symbol "ORPN". For more information, please visit our website:, the content of which is not incorporated herein by reference.

Forward-Looking Statements This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the "safe harbor" provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and other Federal securities laws. For example, we are using forward-looking statements when we discuss future clinical studies and imply that our product candidate may successfully treat certain medical conditions. In addition, historic results of scientific research and clinical and preclinical studies do not guarantee that the conclusions of future research or studies will suggest identical or even similar conclusions or that historic results referred to in this press release would not be interpreted differently, in light of additional research and clinical and preclinical study results. Because such statements deal with future events and are based on Bioblast Pharma Ltd.'s current expectations, they are subject to various risks and uncertainties and actual results, performance or achievements of Bioblast Pharma could differ materially from those described in or implied by the statements in this press release, including those discussed under the heading "Risk Factors" in Bioblast Pharma's Annual Report on Form 20-F filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on March 29, 2016, and in any subsequent filings with the SEC. Except as otherwise required by law, Bioblast Pharma disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof, whether as a result of new information, future events or circumstances or otherwise.
INVESTOR CONTACTMatthew P. DuffyManaging DirectorLifeSci Advisors LLCPhone:  212-915-0685

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