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Pharmos Corporation Receives Notice of Allowance for U.S. Patent

Protects Novel Dexanabinol Derivatives for Treatment of Neuroinflammatory and Neurodegenerative Disorders

Jun 10, 2003
Source Pharmos Corporation
Iselin, N.J.

Pharmos Corporation (Nasdaq: PARS and Nasdaq Europe: PHRM) announced today it has received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a patent application relating to the Company's novel non-psychotropic cannabinoid platform technology.

"This patent broadens and protects the potential use of our technology in developing drugs for many neurological, cardiovascular and immunological clinical indications that involve inflammatory and degenerative pathological processes," said Haim Aviv, Ph.D., Chairman and CEO.  The allowed claims cover novel synthetic dextrocannabinoids developed by Pharmos, including heterocyclic and amine derivatives of dexanabinol, and their use in the treatment of inflammatory disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, brain ischemia, autoimmune diseases and pain.

Due to their stereospecificity, the novel compounds lack binding activity at the two known cannabinoid receptors CB1 and CB2, and as a result are devoid of psychotropic side effects seen with naturally occurring cannabinoids.  Drug candidates in this family may exert their effects via a plurality of mechanisms and have been effective in preclinical models of a variety of indications including stroke, pain, multiple sclerosis and other disorders.

Compounds disclosed and claimed in this patent application may provide the basis for a stroke drug -- with preferred compounds such as PRS-211,092, PRS-211,095 and PRS-211,220 performing well as neuroprotectants in the middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAo) model for this indication.  These compounds both reduced the volume of the infarct following the ischemic insult and improved the functional recovery as assessed in the staircase test. Moreover, these compounds are effective in reducing the production of inflammatory mediators including enzymes, cytokines and chemokines.  Such anti-inflammatory/immuno-modulating activity has wide ranging applications in a variety of pathological conditions. Additionally, two of these compounds, PRS-211,095 and PRS-211,220, were tested in an animal model for neuropathic pain and have shown efficacy, resulting in a reduction of allodynia (pain from stimuli not normally painful) and hyperalgesia (extreme sensitivity to painful stimuli).

Dexanabinol, a prototype of the tricyclic dextrocannabinoid family, is currently undergoing clinical testing as a treatment for traumatic brain injury and as a preventive agent against post-cardiac surgery cognitive impairment.  Pharmos has also developed synthetic cannabinoids that act as CB2 receptor agonists and these proprietary compounds are being studied in pre-clinical programs targeting pain, autoimmune and inflammatory diseases and other disorders.

Statements made in this press release related to the business outlook and future financial performance of the Company, to the prospective market penetration of its drug products, to the development and commercialization of the Company's pipeline products and to the Company's expectations in connection with any future event, condition, performance or other matter, are forward-looking and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Such statements involve risks and uncertainties which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in these statements.  Additional economic, competitive, governmental, technological, marketing and other factors identified in Pharmos' filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission could affect such results.

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