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Peregrine Completes Patient Enrollment in Phase Ib HCV/HIV Coinfection Trial

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Previously this month, Peregrine initiated a randomized Phase II HCV trial to evaluate 12 weeks of therapy with bavituximab, a phosphatidylserine (PS)-targeting monoclonal antibody with immune-modulating potential, in combination with the antiviral drug ribavirin versus standard of care, pegylated interferon alpha 2a and ribavirin.

"Completion of enrollment in our third Phase I HCV trial is an important milestone for our bavituximab antiviral program, and sets the stage for reporting clinical data at a medical conference in the second quarter of this year while we begin to evaluate combination treatment with the antiviral agent ribavirin in a recently initiated study," said Steven W. King, president and chief executive officer of Peregrine.

King continued, "Though standard treatment for chronic HCV may soon evolve with the introduction of new targeted antiviral drug candidates, immune stimulation with interferon remains a critical component of therapy. Preclinical data support the potential combination of bavituximab and ribavirin and we look forward to seeing how this combination initially compares to standard interferon and ribavirin treatment for 12 weeks in our Phase II study for patients infected with HCV."

In prior HCV clinical trials, bavituximab administered as monotherapy in single and multiple doses demonstrated a positive safety profile with no dose-limiting toxicities or serious adverse events. Bavituximab as a monotherapy also showed promising on therapy antiviral activity of up to 1.5 log viral load reduction.

Bavituximab may address a fundamental "immune evasion" mechanism exploited by many infectious pathogens. A growing body of published data from researchers worldwide shows that bavituximab's PS target, exposed on the surface of cells infected by viruses and protozoan parasites, suppresses the immune system's ability to fight disease.

PS-targeting antibodies such as bavituximab bind to PS and block the immunosuppressive signals created by the target, thereby allowing the immune system to mount a robust immune response against the pathogen.