Arena Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on developing and commercializing oral drugs that target G protein-coupled receptors in four major therapeutic areas. These areas are cardiovascular, central nervous system, inflammatory and metabolic diseases.

The company announced today the initiation of dosing in a Phase 1 clinical trial of APD811, a novel oral drug candidate discovered by Arena that targets the prostacyclin receptor for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension or PAH. The Phase 1 trial is planned to enroll up to 72 healthy adult volunteers and will evaluate the safety, tolerability and pharmacokinetics of single-ascending doses of APD811.

This disease is a progressive, life-threatening disorder characterized by increased pressure in the arteries that carry blood from the heart to the lungs. The increased pressure puts a strain on the heart and over time the heart muscle weakens and can no longer pump blood efficiently. If PAH is not treated, the heart will eventually fail.

Arena Pharmaceuticals believes the drug could improve the standard of care for patients with PAH. The company’s senior vice-president and chief medical officer, William R. Shanahan, M.D., said, “In preclinical studies, the oral uptake, half life and efficacy characteristics suggest that it could offer improved administration over current prostacyclin receptor therapies.”

For more information on Arena Pharmaceuticals and APD811, please visit the company’s website at www.arenapharm.com