RXi Pharmaceuticals Granted Patent in China for Lead Clinical Candidate RXI-109

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Sept. 28, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII), a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapies primarily in the areas of dermatology and ophthalmology, today announced that it has been granted a patent from the State Intellectual Property Office of the People's Republic of China (SIPO) for the composition and methods of use for RXI-109 and other connective tissue growth factor (CTGF) targeting self-delivering RNAi compounds (sd-rxRNA®) for the treatment of fibrotic disorders, including skin fibrosis. The patent is scheduled to expire in 2031.

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RXI-109 and other CTGF-targeting sd-rxRNA® compounds may be beneficial for the treatment of fibrotic diseases, including dermal scarring, a condition with a much higher prevalence in people with darker skin. Skin pigmentation is classified in VI categories known as the Fitzpatrick scale. In China, individuals tend to have skin types between III and V.  The prevalence rates for hypertrophic scarring in individuals with higher-scoring Fitzpatrick phototypes can be up to 40-70% following surgery, making China a significant market for RXI-109 in the treatment of dermal scarring.  According to Persistence Market Research, China is predicted to be one of the fastest growing markets for scar treatments in Asia.

"We are pleased with the issuance of this core patent which covers RXI-109 in China," said Dr. Geert Cauwenbergh, President and CEO of RXi Pharmaceuticals.  He added, "Not only does this patent further strengthen our intellectual property portfolio, it also expands regional out-licensing and partnering opportunities available with our self-delivering platform. This comes at an important time as we accelerate our business development efforts, one of our seven key initiatives for increasing shareholder value."

About RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation

RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation (NASDAQ: RXII) is a biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing innovative therapeutics primarily in the areas of dermatology and ophthalmology that address high-unmet medical needs. Our discovery and clinical development programs are based on siRNA technology as well as immunotherapy agents. These compounds include, but are not limited to, our proprietary, self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) compounds for the treatment of dermal and ocular scarring. It also includes an immunomodulator, Samcyprone™, a proprietary topical formulation of diphenylcyclopropenone (DPCP), for the treatment of disorders such as alopecia areata, warts, non-malignant skin tumors and cutaneous metastases of melanoma.

RXi's novel, self-delivering RNAi (sd-rxRNA®) compounds are designed for therapeutic use and have drug-like properties, such as high potency, target specificity, serum stability, reduced immune response activation, and efficient cellular uptake. sd-rxRNAs have been shown, in vitro and in vivo, to achieve efficient spontaneous cellular uptake and potent, long-lasting intracellular activity. 

RXI-109, an sd-rxRNA compound, is the Company's first clinical development candidate. RXI-109 silences Connective Tissue Growth Factor (CTGF), which plays a key role in tissue regeneration and repair and is initially being developed to reduce or inhibit scar formation in the skin and in the eye. RXI-109 is currently being evaluated in Phase 2a clinical trials in dermatology and a Phase 1/2 trial is planned to initiate this year in ophthalmology. The Company's sd-rxRNA technology platform is broadly protected by multiple issued patents and numerous patent applications.

RXi's robust pipeline, coupled with an extensive patent portfolio, provides for product and business development opportunities across a broad spectrum of therapeutic areas. We are committed to being a partner of choice for academia, small companies, and large multinationals. We welcome ideas and proposals for strategic alliances, including in- and out-licensing opportunities, to advance and further develop strategic areas of interest. Additional information may be found on the Company's website, www.rxipharma.com.