Galleon Scientists Win Prestigious Research Awards for First-in-Class Treatment of Emerging Perioperative Sleep Apnea Epidemic
Monday, 06 January 2014 02:05
Jan. 6, 2014 13:00 UTC

Galleon Scientists Win Prestigious Research Awards for First-in-Class Treatment of Emerging Perioperative Sleep Apnea Epidemic

HORSHAM, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Galleon Pharmaceuticals announced today that two abstracts involving its lead clinical compound GAL-021 were recently recognized among the top scientific abstracts submitted at the 2013 Society of Anesthesia and Sleep Medicine (SASM) Annual Meeting in San Francisco, CA.

GAL-021 is the first of a new class of compounds specifically created to treat what the New England Journal of Medicine recently described as the Perioperative Sleep Apnea Epidemic. The goal for these potential new drugs is to increase patient safety, improve pain control and reduce hospital costs for sleep apnea patients undergoing surgery.

The first study, under the leadership of Francis Golder, BV.Sc., PhD, from Galleon, was called “GAL-021 Reverses Opioid-Induced Respiratory Depression and Decreases the Severity of Central Sleep Apneas and Obstructive Apneas in Rats.” The abstract won first place in SASM’s category of “Best Basic Research Award.” A second study, under the leadership of Margot Roozekrans, MD, from the University of Leiden Medical Center, Leiden, Netherlands, won second place in SASM’s “Best Clinical Research Awards,” for the abstract “GAL-021, A New Intravenous Selective Potassium-Channel Blocker, Reverses Opioid Induced Respiratory Depression with no Impairment of Opioid Analgesia.”

“We are very excited to receive this recognition from anesthesia and sleep medicine specialists for the first clinical product candidate to emerge from our propriety platform designed to create drugs for sleep apnea,” said James C. Mannion, Ph.D., President, CEO and founder of Galleon. “These studies represent an important advance toward our goal of drugs to prevent respiratory depression in sleep apnea patients requiring surgery.

The first place basic research award recognizes Galleon’s proprietary models of obstructive and

central apnea that have allowed its researchers to rapidly screen compounds for effects against both of the major types of sleep apnea.”

Sleep apnea is very prevalent in the United States, yet largely undiagnosed. Studies have shown that as many as 41% of general surgery patients upon screening may have sleep apnea. Perioperative care of sleep apnea patients is particularly challenging because these patients’ airways are more prone to collapse, especially when they are given opioids and

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anesthetics. As a result, patients with apnea have higher rates of respiratory complications (39% vs. 18%), increased rates of transfer to the ICU (24% vs. 9%), and longer hospital stays than matched controls. The risk of these complications can extend as long as 3-5 days post-surgery.

In an article that appeared in the June 19, 2013 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers addressed the perioperative challenges of managing apnea patients, and the authors went so far as to label the rate of perioperative sleep apnea in the United States as “an epidemic.”

“In light of the increasing numbers of people living with sleep apnea, we agree with the New England Journal of Medicine authors that there is a high unmet need for drugs that help professionals manage respiratoryrelated complications post-surgery,” Mannion said. “Anesthesiologists are responding very favorably to the product profile for GAL-021, and the drug may one day be a tool to help them manage sleep apnea patients by protecting their airways and

restoring breathing control. The award-winning SASM abstracts are further validation of the potential benefits a drug such as GAL-021 may provide patients, health care providers and payors.”

About Galleon Pharmaceuticals

Galleon is the first company to build a drug discovery and development platform that focuses on the pharmaceutical treatment of sleep apnea and related breathing-control disorders. The company's proprietary platform incorporates recent advances in neurobiology, molecular physiology, respiratory medicine and medicinal chemistry. The Company has developed proprietary models of sleep apnea and breathing control that enable a multi-dimensional analysis of the primary causes of sleep apnea and related conditions. For more information, please visit www.galleonpharma.com.

Contacts

Media:
Sam Brown, Inc.
Mike Beyer, 773-463-4211
mikebeyer@sambrown.com


Source: Galleon Pharmaceuticals




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