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Lpath Granted Key U.S. Patent Related to Ocular Drug Program, iSONEP

SAN DIEGO, May 30, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lpath, Inc. (Nasdaq:LPTN), the industry leader in bioactive lipid-targeted therapeutics, received official notification from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) that the Company has been issued a key patent supporting its iSONEP program.

The newly issued U.S. patent, No. 8,444,970, is entitled, "Compositions and Methods for the Treatment and Prevention of Ocular Conditions." It claims methods of using monoclonal antibodies (including iSONEP™) that bind sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) in the treatment of a wide variety of ocular conditions, including wet AMD (Age-related Macular Degeneration).

"This patent provides exclusivity for iSONEP and other antibodies to S1P in the U.S. for ocular disorders and complements our recent exclusivity for anti-S1P antibodies in Europe for wet AMD, cancer, and other conditions," said Roger Sabbadini, Lpath's vice president, founder, and an inventor of the granted patent.

Lpath is conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial for iSONEP, called Nexus, which is evaluating the anti-S1P antibody's safety and efficacy in wet-AMD patients. Lpath entered into an agreement with Pfizer in 2010 that provides Pfizer an exclusive option for a worldwide license to develop and commercialize iSONEP.

Additionally, Lpath is independently conducting an ASONEP™ Phase 2 trial in renal cell carcinoma patients.

iSONEP and ASONEP are different formulations of sonepcizumab, a first-in-class therapeutic antibody against S1P developed using Lpath's ImmuneY2™ drug-discovery engine. Antibodies developed via this discovery engine are designed to target bioactive signaling lipids, such as S1P, that are involved in cancer, AMD, inflammatory and auto-immune disorders, and many other diseases.

About Lpath's Patent Portfolio

Over the course of the Company's development, Lpath has achieved a broad and deep intellectual property position in the bioactive-lipid area. The Company's comprehensive patent portfolio now includes over 25 issued patents and over 25 patent applications in the U.S., with corresponding international patents and applications. These patents primarily relate to the use of reagents and methods designed to interfere with the actions of bioactive lipids involved in human disease. Lpath's intellectual property portfolio includes coverage of compositions of matter that specifically bind to sphingolipids and sphingolipid metabolites. These compositions, including antibodies, could be used in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases and disorders, including cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease, cancer, inflammation, autoimmune disorders, ocular disease, and angiogenesis.

Lpath has also obtained issued patent claims on sphingolipid targets (e.g., receptors and signaling sphingolipids) and methods for using such targets in drug-discovery screening efforts.

The Company believes that its patent portfolio provides broad and commercially significant coverage of antibodies, receptors, enzymes, and other moieties that bind to a lysolipid (or a sphingolipid metabolite) for diagnostic, therapeutic, and screening purposes.

About Lpath

San Diego-based Lpath, Inc., a therapeutic antibody company, is the category leader in lipid-targeted therapeutics. The Company's ImmuneY2™ drug-discovery engine has the unique ability to generate monoclonal antibodies that bind to and inhibit bioactive lipids that contribute to disease. The Company is developing three drug candidates: iSONEP™ is being studied in a Phase 2 trial in wet AMD patients; ASONEP™ is being studied in a Phase 2 trial in renal cell carcinoma patients; and Lpathomab is a preclinical drug candidate that holds promise in pain, neurotrauma, and other diseases. For more information, visit www.Lpath.com.

About Forward-Looking Statements

The Company cautions you that the statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. These include statements regarding: the protection against competition afforded by issued patents; the eventual commercial viability of the Company's drug programs; and the Company's ability to complete additional discovery and development activities for drug candidates utilizing its proprietary ImmuneY2 drug discovery process. Actual results may differ materially from those set forth in this press release due to the risks and uncertainties inherent in the Company's business, including, without limitation: the outcome of the final analyses of the data from the Phase 1 clinical trial may vary from the Company's initial conclusions; the results of any future clinical trials for iSONEP or ASONEP may not be favorable and the Company may never receive regulatory approval for iSONEP or ASONEP or any of its drug candidates; and the Company may not be able to secure the funds necessary to support its clinical trial and product development plans. More detailed information about the Company and the risk factors that may affect the realization of forward-looking statements is set forth in the Company's filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its Annual Report on Form 10-K and its Quarterly Reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC. Such documents may be read free of charge on the SEC's web site at www.sec.gov. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement and the Company undertakes no obligation to revise or update this press release to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of Section 21E of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.

CONTACT: Lpath, Inc. Scott R. Pancoast President & CEO (858) 926-3200 spancoast@Lpath.com Lpath Investor Relations Casey Stegman Stonegate Securities (214) 987-4121 casey@stonegateinc.comSource:Lpath, Inc.