Capricor Therapeutics Awarded $2.4 Million from U.S. Department of Defense to Support Development of Manufacturing Process for Therapeutic Exosomes; Company’s CAP-2003 Exosomes Targeted Initially at Ocular Graft-Versus-Host Disease

On September 26, 2016 Capricor Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAPR), a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing biological therapies for cardiac and other serious medical conditions, announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) has awarded the company a grant in the amount of approximately $2.4 million to be used toward establishing a scalable, commercially-ready process to manufacture CAP-2003 (Cardiosphere-Derived Cell Exosomes). Capricor has identified ocular graft-versus-host disease (oGVHD) as the first clinical development opportunity for CAP-2003, and expects to submit an IND for this indication in the first half of 2017. CAP-2003 represents exosomes isolated from the Capricor's proprietary cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs), which are currently in clinical evaluation by Capricor for the treatment of several cardiac conditions, including that associated with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). "As we advance and expand our exosomes program, this grant from the DoD will support our objective of achieving a commercial manufacturing process for a candidate which we believe has broad treatment potential," said Linda Marbán (photo), Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Capricor. "Studies of CAP-2003 in multiple models in which inflammation, scarring, and cell death are intrinsic to the disease process suggest that CAP-2003 possesses potent regenerative capabilities. As a cell-free material, CAP-2003 can be handled and stored in similar fashion to a traditional biopharmaceutical, and may be better suited than cell-based therapeutics for certain applications. The activity CAP-2003 has shown in models of eye injury supports our enthusiasm to enter it into the clinic for ocular graft-versus-host disease next year." Capricor Therapeutics, Inc.
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