News & Media

DiaMedica Announces an Agreement with the Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease

WINNIPEG, Manitoba – April 11, 2011 – DiaMedica is pleased to announce the company’s entry into an evaluation agreement with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), a component of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH), to further evaluate its monoclonal antibody (mAb), in a pre-clinical model, for the treatment of tularemia, a serious infectious disease caused by the Francisella tularensis bacteria. F. tularensis is classified as a Class A bioweapon due to being highly infectious when in aerosol form. The US Center for Disease Control (CDC) examined the total base cost to society of a tularemia airborne attack to be $5.4 billion for every 100,000 exposed. F. tularensis is ranked as one of the pathogens most likely to be used as a biological warfare or bioterrorism agent and there is currently no effective treatment (Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 57 (2005) 1403– 1414).

“The Company has previously described that the mAb inhibits a key host protein, glycogen synthase kinase 3 beta (GSK3B). Inhibition of GSK3B has previously been shown to suppress the lethal inflammatory response to Francisella infection and protects against tularemia in rats. If DiaMedica’s mAb leads to GSK3b inhibition in this model, we would expect it to prevent tularemia lethality. A successful experiment would further validate the mechanism of our mAb in yet another model supporting the prospect that it may find broader application in other unmet diseases,” stated Dr. Mark Williams, Vice President of Research.

The upcoming animal study is being conducted under a screening program offered by NIAID’s Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases. The study, to be conducted by the University of New Mexico, will focus on providing key efficacy data that would, if successful, support the filing of an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to treat tularemia with this novel mAb.

In other news, the Company issued 110,000 stock options to a director with a strike price of $1.20 and a term of five years.