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La Jolla Pharmaceutical receives patent for pectin composition

La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co. (OTC: LJPC) announced Tuesday that the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has issued a notice of allowance for claims covering its modified pectin compositions.

The claims, which expire in 2025 without accounting for any potential patent term extension, provide proprietary protection for solutions comprised of purified modified pectin, with a defined average molecular weight range.

"This patent complements our other issued patents and strengthens our position as the leader in the development of effective, pectin-based therapeutics," said James Rolke, senior director of research and development at La Jolla Pharmaceutical and inventor of the technology.

La Jolla Pharmaceutical is building a pipeline of drug candidates based on modified pectin, a polysaccharide chemically related to the natural pectin found in plant cell walls. Modified pectin has the ability to bind and sequester the protein galectin-3, over-expression of which has been implicated in a number of human diseases including chronic organ failure and cancer.

The modified pectin compositions described in this patent may have the advantages of improved therapeutic potency, purity and composition uniformity. The claims allowed in this patent cover such pectin compositions regardless of the intended therapeutic use.

The company's intellectual property portfolio also includes two issued patents covering methods for preparing biologically active modified pectin, two pending patents describing modified pectin compositions, and one pending patent covering the method of reducing the rate of cancer growth by treating with a galectin inhibitor.

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