ThromboGenics NV a biotechnology company focused on vascular disease, will progress with the development of its novel anti-VPAC(1) antibody for the treatment of thrombocytopenia, including chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia.

ThromboGenics is a biotechnology company focused on discovery and development of biopharmaceuticals for the treatment of a range of vascular diseases. Thrombocytopenia, which is the reduced number of platelets in blood, is a common severe side effect of chemotherapy and increases the risk of bleeding and severity of haemorrhage, therefore causing the delay or even discontinuation of treatment in cancer patients. There is a high medical need to find a therapeutic that could reduce thrombocytopenia by accelerating platelet production. Blood transfusion, the current standard of care for this condition, offers only a temporary solution for these patients and is associated with significant cost and risk.

Researchers at the University of Leuven and ThromboGenics have developed a novel therapeutic approach, showing that the inhibition of VPAC could stimulate the production of platelets. ThromboGenics has now identified and selected a lead antibody against VPAC to enter preclinical development. VPAC is a receptor present at the surface of bone marrow cells called megakaryocytes, which, when mature, produce platelets. Research published yesterday in Blood describes how the inhibition of VPAC could promote megakaryocyte differentiation. Blood is the official journal of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

The Company has several programs in Phase II clinical development including microplasmin, which is being evaluated as a treatment for vitreoretinal disorders and as a thrombolytic agent for vascular occlusive diseases, including acute stroke. ThromboGenics is also developing novel antibody therapeutics in collaboration with BioInvent International; these include TB-402 (Anti-Factor VIII), scheduled to enter Phase II clinical development in 2008, and TB-403 (Anti-PlGF), which is expected to proceed to Phase I clinical trials by the end of 2007.