SAN DIEGO, January 5, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Amira Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the publication of its findings in the Journal of Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics (JPET) which describes the biologic effects and the characterization of AM095, a lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) receptor 1 antagonist, in various in vitro and in vivo models of fibrotic disease.

"Activation of the LPA1 receptor by LPA has been implicated in a number of disease processes, including tissue fibrosis," said James Swaney, Ph.D., Director of Biology at Amira Pharmaceuticals. "With this new data, Amira's orally available, proof-of-concept LPA1 receptor antagonists have now displayed efficacy in a wide range of fibrotic models including lung, skin, eye, liver and kidney."

Gretchen Bain, Ph.D., Executive Director of Biology at Amira Pharmaceuticals, added, "In addition to the work described in this paper, we have demonstrated that LPA promotes the transformation of fibroblasts to the pro-fibrotic (myofibroblast) state stimulating the production of collagen 1, a major component of fibrotic tissue. This process can be inhibited by an LPA1 selective antagonist. Furthermore, LPA signaling facilitates the fibroblast transformation independently of the pro-fibrotic molecule TGF-beta, which indicates the potential for additivity to anti- TGF-beta mechanisms."

Amira is currently sponsoring Phase I clinical studies of AM152, an orally available LPA1 receptor antagonist.