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Merrion Pharmaceuticals Issued Key US Patent for Orazol™

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Merrion Pharmaceuticals plc has announced that it has been granted a further US Patent, increasing the protection for their lead product, Orazol™.

United States Patent No. 7,704,977, "Solid Oral Dosage Form Containing an Enhancer" covers Orazol™ tablets, an oral form of zoledronic acid, a bisphosphonate. Orazol is in development to treat bone metastases associated with prostate, breast and other cancers; the current gold standard of treatment is intravenous bisphosphonates.

Orazol has been designed to improve this treatment through the numerous benefits of oral administration combined with comparable efficacy.

Orazol uses Merrion’s proprietary GIPET technology, which allows the oral dosing of drugs previously only available in intravenous form. Efficacy, safety and side effect profiles of drugs can be improved substantially using this delivery technology. Thus, products developed with this technology have potential for significantly improving the Quality of Life for patients as well as providing greater access to the medication with substantial economic improvements for hard-pressed healthcare systems. The expiry date on this patent is 2027.

“This is the second key US patent issued for Merrion’s GIPET technology this year,” said John Lynch, CEO, Merrion Pharmaceuticals, “and is a significant development for our patent estate. This further establishes us as one of the leading companies in this space. “

A separate patent, covering GIPET® technology combined with bisphosphonates, of which zoledronic acid is a member, was issued in the US in March 2010 and a patent covering the GIPET technology, including its use with bisphosphonates, has been granted in Europe.

The clinical validation for GIPET technology is also growing. For example Orazol™ demonstrated excellent results in a Phase 2b study published at last year’s meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

Lynch continued, “This US patent is another step towards achieving our overall vision.”