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Top Ampio Pharma execs extend lock-up agreement

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, Colo. (AP) -- Biopharmaceutical company Ampio Pharmaceuticals Inc. said Tuesday that its CEO and its Chief Scientific Officer have extended an agreement against selling their Ampio shares until January 2013.

The deal between Ampio and its CEO and chairman Michael Macaluso and its CSO and founder David Bar-Or was set to expire on July 15. Bar-Or is also the company's biggest stockholder.

Macaluso also sought to defuse expectations that a large block of Ampio shares held by former shareholders of DMI Biosciences Inc. will be traded with the recent expiration of a June 30 lockup date.

Ampio shares rose 5 percent in premarket trading.

Bar-Or currently holds about 3.7 million shares, or about 12 percent of Ampio's total outstanding stock, according to CapitalIQ. Macaluso holds approximately 2 million shares, or about 6.6 percent of the company's total outstanding stock.

Macaluso said in a statement that Ampio management is precluded from selling or buying its shares due to the non-public information being created within a company engaging potential collaboration or distribution partners while managing multiple clinical trials and regulatory submissions.

Ampio, which is based in Greenwood Village, Colo., is currently conducting clinical trials on inflammation drug Ampion, eye drug Optina, premature ejaculation treatment Zertane and Zertane-ED. The company is also looking at licensing distribution of the drugs.

Ampio acquired DMI Biosciences in 2010. DMI Biosciences shareholders obtained Ampio stock in that deal.

Macaluso said a large percentage of those shareholders failed to extend their lock-up past Dec. 31, 2011, and were allowed to sell their stock beginning on Jan. 1.

He said shareholders who extended their lock-up until June 30 have been allowed to sell a cumulative 5 percent per month since September 2011. But he said it is inaccurate to expect that a large block of shares will be traded since the passing of the June 30 date.

Ampio shares rose 27 cents, or 5 percent, to $5.70 per share in premarket trading on Tuesday. They are up from a 52-week low of $2.54 on May 15, but are 39 percent below their high for the past year of $9.27 set in mid-September 2011.