Raptor Pharmaceuticals to Collaborate with Roche on Therapeutic Delivery Across Blood-Brain Barrier



    
    Roche to fund evaluation of Raptor's proprietary NeuroTrans(TM) technology

    
    NOVATO, Calif., June 9 /CNW/ -- Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. ("Raptor" or
the "Company") (OTC Bulletin Board:   RPTP), today announced that it has entered
a collaboration and licensing agreement with Roche (SWX: ROG.VX; RO.S, OTCQX:
RHHBY) to evaluate therapeutic delivery across the blood-brain barrier,
("BBB") starting with Raptor's proprietary NeuroTrans(TM) BBB transporter
platform. Under terms of the agreement, Roche will fund studies of select
molecules attached to Raptor's proprietary NeuroTrans(TM), a derivative of the
receptor-associated protein ("RAP").  The agreement provides Roche with an
exclusive worldwide license to NeuroTrans(TM) for use in the delivery of
diagnostic and therapeutic molecules across the BBB.
    

    (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20071022/NYM074LOGO )

    
    Scientists at Raptor and Roche will actively collaborate on the project.
Raptor will receive an initial upfront fee for the collaboration to cover its
portion of the initial studies, along with development milestone payments and
royalties in exchange for the licensing of NeuroTrans(TM).

    Todd C. Zankel, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Raptor,
stated, "We are excited to be collaborating with Roche, a world leader in
pharmaceutical research. We believe that by combining our knowledge of the
work done in the area of BBB transport and the resources of Roche, our
collaboration is well positioned to make significant progress in a critical
and challenging area in medical research."
    Crossing the BBB remains a major obstacle to effectively treating most
neurological disorders. While medical research has identified hundreds of
potential therapeutic compounds that might be highly effective in treating
devastating neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's, Parkinson's,
and Huntington's Disease, the majority of these compounds do not cross the BBB
by themselves. So they cannot get to where they need to go to be effective
drugs.  The challenge of finding a means to deliver these compounds to the
brain has resulted in an intensive search for "BBB transporter molecules" that
could be attached to these potential therapeutics and, following intravenous
administration, deliver the drug to the brain.
    "Our collaboration with Roche will enable us to further the development
of Raptor's NeuroTrans(TM) BBB transporter molecules, in conjunction with
Roche's proprietary therapeutic molecules, to potentially deliver these
compounds in therapeutic quantities across the BBB following intravenous
administration" said Christopher Starr, Ph.D. CEO of Raptor. "It is our hope
that this collaboration, which will leverage the knowledge and expertise of
Dr. Zankel and his group here at Raptor, coupled with the ongoing research of
the scientists at Roche, will bring us an increased understanding of the most
effective means to transport therapeutic molecules across the BBB, in order to
more effectively treat these devastating neurodegenerative diseases."
    About NeuroTrans(TM)
    NeuroTrans(TM) is Raptor's proprietary receptor-associated protein
("RAP")-based technology program designed to deliver therapeutics across the
blood-brain barrier ("BBB"), with the potential to provide safer, less
intrusive, and more effective therapies to treat a wide variety of brain
disorders. Preclinical studies indicate that radio-labeled NeuroTrans(TM)
crosses the BBB through transcytosis, or the selective receptor-mediated
transport of peptides and large proteins across the endothelial membrane in
the BBB. NeuroTrans(TM) has also been conjugated to a variety of protein
drugs, including enzymes and growth factors, without interfering with their
therapeutic functions.

    Raptor recently announced that the United States Patent and Trademark
Office ("USPTO") has issued two Notices of Allowance for U.S. Patent
Application Nos. 10/812,849 and 11/202,566, titled "Methods of increasing
delivery of active agents to brain comprising administering
receptor-associated protein ("RAP") fragments conjugated to active agents".
    

    About Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp.

    
    Raptor Pharmaceuticals Corp. ("Raptor") is dedicated to speeding the
delivery of new treatment options to patients by working to improve existing
therapeutics through the application of highly specialized drug targeting
platforms and formulation expertise. Raptor focuses on underserved patient
populations where it can have the greatest potential impact. Raptor currently
has product candidates in clinical development to treat nephropathic
cystinosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis ("NASH"), Huntington's Disease
("HD"), and aldehyde dehydrogenase ("ALDH2") deficiency.

    Raptor's preclinical programs are based upon bioengineered novel drug
candidates and drug-targeting platforms derived from the human
receptor-associated protein ("RAP") and related proteins that are designed to
target cancer, neurodegenerative disorders and infectious diseases.
    
    For additional information, please visit www.raptorpharma.com.

    FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

    
    This document contains forward-looking statements as that term is defined
in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements
relate to future events or our future results of operation or future financial
performance, including, but not limited to the following statements: that
NeuroTrans(TM) will be able to deliver therapeutic and diagnostic molecules
across the blood-brain barrier; that the Company will ever earn or be paid the
development milestone payments and/or royalties based upon the licensing of
NeuroTrans(TM); that the collaboration between the Company and Roche will make
significant progress in the area of transporting molecules across the
blood-brain barrier; and that any of the Company's clinical and preclinical
drug candidates will result in approved therapeutics.  These statements are
only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other
factors, which may cause the Company's actual results to be materially
different from these forward-looking statements. Factors which may
significantly change or prevent the Company's forward looking statements from
fruition include that Raptor may be unsuccessful in developing any products or
acquiring products; that Raptor's technology may not be validated as it
progresses further and its methods may not be accepted by the scientific
community; that Raptor is unable to retain or attract key employees whose
knowledge is essential to the development of its products; that unforeseen
scientific difficulties develop with the Company's process; that Raptor's
patents are not sufficient to protect essential aspects of its technology;
that competitors may invent better technology; that Raptor's products may not
work as well as hoped or worse, that the Company's products may harm
recipients; and that Raptor may not be able to raise sufficient funds for
development or working capital. As well, Raptor's products may never develop
into useful products and even if they do, they may not be approved for sale to
the public. Raptor cautions readers not to place undue reliance on any such
forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they were made.
Certain of these risks, uncertainties, and other factors are described in
greater detail in the Company's filings from time to time with the Securities
and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"), which Raptor strongly urges you to read
and consider, including its Registration Statement on Form S-1, as amended,
that was declared effective on August 7, 2008; its annual report on Form 10-K
filed with the SEC on October 30, 2008, as amended by that Form 10-K/A filed
with the SEC on December 23, 2008; and its Form 10-Q filed with the SEC on
April 13, 2009, all of which are available free of charge on the SEC's web
site at http://www.sec.gov. Subsequent written and oral forward-looking
statements attributable to Raptor or to persons acting on its behalf are
expressly qualified in their entirety by the cautionary statements set forth
in the Company's reports filed with the SEC. Raptor expressly disclaims any
intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statements.


    For more information, please contact:

    
    Karl Cahill, Investor Relations
    (858) 531-6100
    kcahill@raptorpharma.com
    

    
    The Ruth Group
    Sara Ephraim Pellegrino (investors) / Janine McCargo (media)
    (646) 536-7002 / (646) 536-7033
    spellegrino@theruthgroup.com / jmccargo@theruthgroup.com




    




For further information:

For further information: Karl Cahill, Investor Relations,
+1-858-531-6100 kcahill@raptorpharma.com; or The Ruth Group, Sara Ephraim
Pellegrino, investors, +1-646-536-7002, spellegrino@theruthgroup.com, or
Janine McCargo, media, +1-646-536-7033, jmccargo@theruthgroup.com Web Site:
http://www.raptorpharma.com

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RAPTOR PHARMACEUTICAL CORP.

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