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Sep 29, 2008
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Artisan: Testing, testing 123

Many companies have failed to develop therapeutics for sepsis, and the only drug approved for the indication has met with little clinical or commercial success. Artisan Pharma Inc. believes its ART-123 will succeed where others have failed by targeting a disorder secondary to sepsis.

Artisan spun out of Asahi Kasei Pharma Corp. in 2006 to develop and commercialize ART-123 outside of Asia to treat disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). ART-123 was approved for the indication in Japan in January.

DIC is a hypercoagulation disorder secondary to sepsis, in which infectious toxins cause widespread endothelial damage. To repair the damage, the body generates excessive amounts of thrombin to form blood clots. In the hypercoagulable state, the body's ability to regulate clotting is lost.

According to President and CEO Jeffrey Wager, up to 30% of sepsis patients develop DIC. For those who do, he said, strong evidence exists that the risk of death is doubled.

"Until fairly recently, the prevailing view was to treat the underlying...

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