Avicena Engages Rothschild and Bionest As Strategic Advisors
Palo Alto, Calif., July 12, 2007 — Avicena Group Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: AVGO), a late stage biotechnology company that develops central nervous system therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases, announced today that it has engaged Rothschild Inc., a leading global investment bank, to analyze opportunities for partnering and licensing as well as other business transactions for its late stage central nervous system drug development programs. Rothschild will collaborate with Bionest Partners, a global life sciences strategy consulting firm, in the strategic review process.
Avicena has advanced its clinical programs for Parkinson's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) into Phase III clinical trials, with its Huntington's disease program to also enter Phase III in early 2008. Avicena maintains full ownership its broad intellectual property portfolio which includes 50 patents issued and pending. The Company intends to expand its neurology portfolio in the near future by pursuing the use of its analogues in pre-clinical studies for Alzheimer's disease and Multiple Sclerosis.
Avicena's proprietary Parkinson's disease drug candidate, PD-02, is being utilized in one of the largest Phase III clinical trials ever conducted for Parkinson's disease, which is currently enrolling up to 1,720 patients in over 50 centers throughout North America. An enrollment update will soon be made available. The phase III trial is being fully sponsored by NINDS, a division of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
"We are pleased that Rothschild and Bionest have agreed to represent Avicena as strategic advisors", stated Belinda Tsao-Nivaggioli, CEO of Avicena. "Both companies have a proven track record advising global biotechnology and healthcare companies to fully leverage their late stage drug pipeline and patent portfolio to maximize shareholder value."
Avicena Group, Inc. (OTCBB:AVGO), is a late stage biotechnology company focused on developing products based on its proprietary understanding of the regulation of cellular energy processes. The company's core technologies, supported by a robust IP portfolio, have broad applications in both pharmaceuticals and dermaceuticals. Avicena's pharmaceutical program centers on rare neurological disorders (orphan diseases). The company is currently analyzing data from its Phase IIb/III trial in ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or Lou Gehrig's disease). Near term, Avicena intends to initiate a Phase III trial in Huntington's disease to accompany its on-going Phase III trial in Parkinson's disease. Avicena's science is well established and its products are safe and well tolerated. Unlike traditional biotechnology companies, Avicena's clinical programs are largely funded by government and non-profit organizations. Avicena presently derives revenue from the sale of proprietary ingredients to skin care manufacturers.
This release may contain forward-looking statements within the meaning of the federal securities laws. Such forward-looking statements reflect, among other things, management's current expectations, plans and strategies, and anticipated financial results, all of which are subject to known and unknown risks, uncertainties and factors that may cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Many of these risks are beyond our ability to control or predict. See "Risk Factors" under "Item 6. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operation" from our Annual Report on Form 10-KSB for the year ended December 31, 2006, and other descriptions in the company's public filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission for a discussion of such risks, including the company's need for additional funds, the company's dependence on a limited number of therapeutic compounds, the stage of the products the company is developing, uncertainties relating to clinical trials and regulatory reviews, competition and dependence on collaborative partners, the company's ability to avoid infringement of the patent rights of others, and the company's ability to obtain adequate patent protection and to enforce these rights. Because of these risks, uncertainties and assumptions, you should not place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements. Furthermore, forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made. Avicena does not undertake any obligation to update or review any such forward-looking information, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
The Ruth Group (on behalf of Avicena Group®)
Stephanie Carrington / Sara Ephraim (investors)
(646) 536-7017 / 7002
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