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Rexahn Pharmaceuticals Receives U.S. Patent for RX-3117 Anti-Cancer Program

ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 26, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE MKT:RNN) a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing best-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced that it has been issued a U.S. patent from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for claims related to the synthesis of its novel anti-cancer investigational drug candidate, RX-3117. In preclinical studies, RX-3117 has demonstrated broad spectrum anti-tumor activity, notably in human cancer cell lines that have been made resistant to gemcitabine (Gemzar®), a widely-used type of chemotherapy. RX-3117 is currently being evaluated in a Phase Ib clinical trial in cancer patients with solid tumors.

Rexahn is pleased to expand its intellectual property protection for RX-3117, which we believe holds promise as a next generation, highly-targeted cancer therapeutic designed to enhance treatment efficacy while minimizing the toxic side effects seen with traditional anti-cancer drugs, said Dr. Peter D. Suzdak, Chief Executive Officer. This latest patent for RX-3117 is an important addition to our intellectual property estate and further strengthens our global patent position for Rexahns innovative oncology pipeline.

About RX-3117

RX-3117 is a novel, investigational small molecule nucleoside compound. Once intracellularly activated (phosphorylated) by UCK2, it is incorporated into the DNA or RNA of cells and inhibits both DNA and RNA synthesis, which induces apoptotic cell death of tumor cells. UCK2 is overexpressed in various human cancer cells. Preclinical studies have shown that RX-3117 inhibits the growth of various human cancer xenograft models, including pancreatic, lung, bladder, cervical and colon, as well as gemcitabine resistant cancer cells.

RX-3117 has demonstrated broad spectrum anti-tumor activity against over 100 different human cancer cell lines and efficacy in 17 different mouse xenograft models. Notably, the efficacy of RX-3117 in the mouse xenograft models was superior to that...