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PolyMedix and University of Pennsylvania Collaborate to Develop New Class of Defensin-Mimetic Antimicrobial Compounds to Treat Malaria

PolyMedix Receives Second Phase of NIH Grant for Up to $3 million

| Source: PolyMedix, Inc.

RADNOR, Pa., July 31, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PolyMedix, Inc. (OTCBB:PYMX), a biotechnology company focused on developing innovative therapeutic drugs to treat patients with serious acute-care conditions, today announced that it has received the second phase of a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant will continue to fund collaborative work with Dr. Doron Greenbaum, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, to support the development of defensin-mimetic antimicrobial compounds for the treatment of malaria.

The second phase of this grant provides funding of up to $1 million per year for three years to support the discovery of a lead anti-malarial product candidate. This phase was awarded after the team of PolyMedix and the Greenbaum laboratory successfully completed a first phase which included generating proof-of-concept data for the defensin-mimetics through in vitro and in vivo efficacy testing. PolyMedix's defensin-mimetics rapidly target the digestive vacuole of the parasite that causes malaria, Plasmodium falciparum, via a unique mechanism distinct from other anti-malarial agents, essentially starving the parasite of food. The data from in vitro and in vivo testing showed PolyMedix's defensin-mimetics potently killed the Plasmodium falciparum, in infected human red blood cells, without damaging uninfected red blood cells. Encouraging in vivo activity was also seen with a potential lead compound on malaria parasite clearance and animal survival in a mouse malaria model. These data were presented by PolyMedix's collaborator on the grant, Dr. Doron Greenbaum earlier this year at the Keystone Symposia on Drug Discovery for Protozoan Parasites.

"We are pleased that the NIH has awarded us the second phase of this malaria grant," commented Dr. Richard Scott, Vice President of Research at PolyMedix. "This additional funding allows us to continue our preclinical testing with Dr. Greenbaum to develop a compound to potentially treat malaria, a major unmet medical need."

Dr. Doron Greenbaum, Assistant Professor of Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania, commented, "Resistance has developed to many current therapies for malaria. Targeting parasite membranes rather than proteins using PolyMedix's defensin-mimetics represents a highly innovative and novel approach for treating parasitic diseases. I look forward to collaborating with PolyMedix on this grant."

Malaria is a devastating global disease with up to 3 billion people exposed, and causes more than one million deaths each year as resistance to current therapies continues to increase. Malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted to people by infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. According to the World Health Organization, the inappropriate use of antimalarial drugs during the past century, including poor management of use, deployment of drugs on a large scale and use as monotherapies, has contributed to the current situation of unacceptably high levels of resistance. This growing resistance to antimalarial medicines has spread very rapidly, undermining malaria control efforts.

The research described above was funded by the NIH, is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official view of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases or the National Institutes of Health.

Editor's Note: Dr. Greenbaum has no financial interest or other relationship with PolyMedix, apart from their scientific collaboration.

About PolyMedix, Inc.

PolyMedix is a clinical stage biotechnology company developing a novel class of antimicrobial agents – defensin-mimetics, small-molecule mimics of host-defense proteins - for the treatment of serious infections. PolyMedix's lead infectious disease drug candidate is brilacidin (formerly PMX-30063), the first of this new class of antibiotics which imitates the mechanism of natural human immunity, and exploits a method of bacterial cell killing which has not shown bacterial resistance in multiple preclinical studies. Brilacidin has completed a Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with acute bacterial skin and skin structure infections (ABSSSI) caused by Staph aureus bacteria, including methicillin-resistant Staph aureus (MRSA). In the study, all evaluated doses of brilacidin showed efficacy comparable to the active control and were safely administered.

PolyMedix's product portfolio also includes its PolyCides®, antimicrobial additives to materials, such as cosmetics, plastics and textiles, to create self-sterilizing products and surfaces, and delparantag (formerly PMX-60056) and other preclinical anticoagulant reversing agents. PolyMedix's compounds have been internally discovered using a proprietary drug design technology.

For more information, please visit our website at www.polymedix.com.

The PolyMedix, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=10449

This press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions that could cause PolyMedix's actual results and experience to differ materially from anticipated results and expectations expressed in these forward looking statements. PolyMedix has in some cases identified forward-looking statements by using words such as "anticipates," "believes," "hopes," "estimates," "looks," "expects," "plans," "intends," "goal," "potential," "may," "suggest," and similar expressions. Among other factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in forward-looking statements are PolyMedix's need for, and the availability of, substantial capital in the future to fund its operations and research and development, and the fact that PolyMedix's compounds may not successfully complete pre-clinical or clinical testing, or be granted regulatory approval to be sold and marketed in the United States or elsewhere. A more complete description of these risk factors is included in PolyMedix's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You should not place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements. PolyMedix undertakes no obligation to release publicly the results of any revisions to any such forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date of this press release or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, except as required by applicable law or regulation.

For further information contact:

Lisa Caperelli
Director, Investor Relations & Corporate Communications