updated 11/3/2010 9:45:51 AM ET 2010-11-03T13:45:51

SOUTH SAN FRANCISO, Calif., Nov. 3, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OXiGENE, Inc., (Nasdaq:OXGN), a clinical-stage, biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer and eye diseases, announced today that the Company has been awarded $733,000 in tax credit grants by the U.S Internal Revenue Service (section 48D of the Internal Revenue Code or IRC) under a new program created as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, called the Qualifying Therapeutic Discovery Project. The credit is a tax benefit awarded to therapeutic discovery projects that show a reasonable potential to result in new therapies that treat areas of unmet medical need or prevent, detect or treat chronic or acute diseases and conditions. OXiGENE intends to use the proceeds of the grant funds to continue its trials of ZYBRESTAT and OXi4503.

"We are gratified that our clinical programs have merited recognition from the IRS and the Department of Health and Human Services under this new government program, and we welcome this timely infusion of cash to support ongoing development of ZYBRESTAT and OXi4503," said Peter J. Langecker, M.D., Ph.D., OXiGENE chief executive officer. "This grant award supplements our ongoing efforts to pursue additional strategies to fund our ongoing operations and will help us to advance each of our development programs."

About ZYBRESTAT (fosbretabulin)

ZYBRESTAT is being evaluated in a Phase 2 study of patients with non-small cell lung cancer and other clinical trials. OXiGENE believes that ZYBRESTAT is poised to become an important product in a novel class of small-molecule drug candidates called vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). Through interaction with vascular endothelial cell cytoskeletal proteins, ZYBRESTAT selectively targets and collapses tumor vasculature, thereby depriving the tumor of oxygen and causing death of tumor cells. In clinical trials in solid tumors, ZYBRESTAT has demonstrated potent and selective activity against tumor vasculature, as well as clinical activity against ATC, ovarian cancer and various other solid tumors.

About OXi4503

OXi4503 (combretastatin A1 di-phosphate / CA1P) is a dual-mechanism vascular disrupting agent (VDA) that is being developed in clinical trials for the treatment of solid tumors. Like its structural analog, ZYBRESTAT(TM) (fosbretabulin / CA4P), OXi4503 has been observed to block and destroy tumor vasculature, resulting in extensive tumor cell death and necrosis. In addition, preclinical data indicate that OXi4503 is metabolized by oxidative enzymes (e.g., tyrosinase and peroxidases), which are elevated in many solid tumors and tumor white blood cell infiltrates, to an orthoquinone chemical species that has direct cytotoxic effects on tumor cells. Preclinical studies have shown that OXi4503 has (i) single-agent activity against a range of xenograft tumor models; and (ii) synergistic or additive effects when incorporated in various combination regimens with chemotherapy, molecularly-targeted therapies (including tumor-angiogenesis inhibitors), and radiation therapy. OXi4503 is currently being evaluated as a monotherapy in a Phase 1 dose-escalation trial in patients with advanced solid tumors and in patients with hepatic tumor burden.

About OXiGENE

OXiGENE is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer and eye diseases. The Company's major focus is developing vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) that selectively disrupt abnormal blood vessels associated with solid tumor progression and visual impairment. OXiGENE is dedicated to leveraging its intellectual property and therapeutic development expertise to bring life-extending and life-enhancing medicines to patients.

The OXiGENE, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4969

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any or all of the forward-looking statements in this press release, which include OXiGENE's anticipated progress, conclusion and reporting on clinical studies may turn out to be wrong. Forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions OXiGENE might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, success or timing of the development programs of ZYBRESTAT or OXi4503. Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in OXiGENE's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including OXiGENE's reports on Form 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. However, OXiGENE undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2009.

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