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BeyondSpring Files Composition of Matter Patent Application for Plinabulin Combination Therapy in Immuno-Oncology

NEW YORK, Feb. 24, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative cancer therapies, today announced that it has filed a composition of matter patent application with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cover compositions comprising Plinabulin and one or more immune checkpoint inhibitors for cancer treatment.

This composition of matter patent aims to extend BeyondSpring's intellectual property portfolio for its lead compound, Plinabulin, by broadly covering pharmaceutical compositions based on Plinabulin alone or in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitor(s). Preclinical studies have shown the potentiation of immune response with Plinabulin and substantial synergistic antitumor effects with such combination. These findings are consistent with the therapeutic potential of Plinabulin to augment immune response in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

"This patent application is an important step in the continuing expansion of our IP portfolio, and will broaden the protection of our lead compound as we initiate our Phase 3 clinical trial of Plinabulin in non-small cell lung cancer," stated Lan Huang, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals.

Dr. Huang continued, "Clinical trials completed to date have demonstrated Plinabulin's unique ability as an anti-cancer agent with multiple mechanisms of action that target and alter the tumor microenvironment, including generation of an amplified immune system response to fight cancer. In our Phase 2 study, the combination of Plinabulin and docetaxel demonstrated a superior duration of response of 12.7 months compared to 1.5 months with docetaxel alone – a response that is consistent with the mechanism of lasting response associated with immune-therapy agents. We believe that Plinabulin's ability to leverage the body's immune system will increase its potential across oncology applications to treat a broad range of cancers, and we look forward to further exploring these opportunities now that our invention is on its way to becoming protected. This patent, if granted, will provide us with long-term market exclusivity and protection of Plinabulin, and in fact will extend the patent protection of Plinabulin composition and use in cancer from 2025 to 2036. We believe that this extended period of IP protection will greatly enhance our emerging position in oncology therapeutics."

About BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals

BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative cancer therapies. BeyondSpring is focused on the advancement and commercialization of Plinabulin, a novel, Phase 3-ready cancer therapeutic initially targeting non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Led by an expert management team consisting of pharmaceutical industry veterans from the U.S. and China, the Company is well positioned to further advance lead product candidate, Plinabulin. For more information, visit www.beyondspringpharma.com.

CONTACT: The Ruth Group Lee Roth (investors) lroth@theruthgroup.com (646) 536-7012 Kirsten Thomas (media) kthomas@theruthgroup.com (646) 536-7014Source:BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals