OXiGENE Announces Issuance of Patent for Benzosuberenes, a Novel Anticancer Class of Agents

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| Source: OXiGENE, Inc.

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., March 20, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OXiGENE, Inc. (Nasdaq:OXGN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer, announced today that the US Patent and Trademark Office issued U.S. Patent No. 8,397,859, covering certain benzosuberene-based compounds, including the analogues referred to as KGP18 and KGP156 that are currently in preclinical development. The patent also covers methods of using those compounds to inhibit tubulin polymerization, to reduce blood flow to a tumor, or to restrain, slow, stop or reverse progression of a tumor.

These compounds are the product of OXiGENE's ongoing collaboration with Kevin G. Pinney, Ph.D. and Mary Lynn Trawick, Ph.D.at Baylor University to identify inhibitors of tubulin polymerization as vascular targeting agents and as back-up compounds to OXiGENE's combretastatin A-4P (ZYBRESTAT®) and OXi4503. Recently, the focus of this collaboration has centered on the development of novel antiproliferative agents (benzosuberenes) and anti-invasive molecules (cathepsin L inhibitors). OXiGENE has an exclusive license to the worldwide rights to all of the compounds that result from this collaboration.

"The issuance of the patent covering benzosuberenes is an important achievement for OXiGENE that enhances the value of our anticancer portfolio for potential pharmaceutical partners and investors," said Peter J. Langecker, M.D., Ph.D., OXiGENE's Chief Executive Officer. "We believe that this exciting new class of compounds has the potential to enhance treatment options for oncologists and patients with cancer. This work also demonstrates the continued productivity of our collaboration with Baylor University."

"This benzosuberene series of molecules are among the most potent antiproliferative agents identified to date in our laboratories, and we believe this exceptional potency coupled with their antivascular activity make these compounds potentially well-suited for selective delivery strategies, including their use as payloads for antibody-directed therapy," said Dr. Pinney, Professor of Chemistry at Baylor University.

Benzosuberenes have highly potent anti-proliferative activity via inhibition of tubulin assembly at the colchicine binding site. Lead compounds include KGP18 and KGP156, which are potent small-molecule tubulin depolymerizing agents displaying sub-nanomolar (in the case of KGP18) antiproliferative activity in vitro against a number of human cancer cell lines. These compounds have also been shown to disrupt capillary-like networks of endothelial cells in vitro and induce reductions in tumor blood flow in human tumor xenografts in mice. Two publications detailing the synthesis and in vitro activity of the initial lead compounds in this series of benzosuberenes have appeared in print (Bioorg. Med. Chem. 16:8161-8171 (2008); and Med. Chem. Commun. 3:720-24 (2012).

About OXiGENE

OXiGENE is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer. The Company's major focus is developing vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) that selectively disrupt abnormal blood vessels associated with solid tumor progression. OXiGENE is dedicated to leveraging its intellectual property and therapeutic development expertise to bring life-extending and life-enhancing medicines to patients.

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About BAYLOR UNIVERSITY

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any or all of the forward-looking statements in this press release, which include the timing of advancement, outcomes, and regulatory guidance relative to our clinical programs, achievement of our business and financing objectives may turn out to be wrong. Forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions OXiGENE might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the inherent risks of drug development and regulatory review, and the availability of additional financing to continue development of our programs.

Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in OXiGENE's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including OXiGENE's reports on Form 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. However, OXiGENE undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

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