EpiCept Announces Multiple Presentations on ASAP Technology at American Association of Cancer Research Annual Meeting
EpiCept Corporation (Nasdaq and OMX Nordic Exchange: EPCT) today announced that it will present new drug discovery advances emanating from its Anti-cancer Screening Apoptosis Platform (ASAP) as well as structure activity relationship studies from its clinical-stage apoptosis inducers at the Annual Meeting of the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) being held from April 12-16, 2008 in San Diego, California.
Discovery of Small-Molecule Apoptosis Inducer Pathways
EpiCept will give two poster presentations describing the discovery of small-molecule apoptosis inducers, which targets two commonly dysregulated pathways in cancer, Myc oncogene and Wnt/beta-catenin. The compounds were discovered through novel application of the company's ASAP technology toward targeted pathways.
Dysregulated molecular targets and the pathways controlled by those targets drive the pathology of cancer cells. The presentations will focus on the rapid identification of potential anti-cancer agents that disrupt the dysregulated target or the altered pathways by selectively inducing apoptosis in cancer cells with the dysregulated target of interest. In the Wnt/beta-catenin presentation, assay development, identification and characterization of selective hit compounds targeting of this pathway will be described. In the presentation on targeting the Myc-oncogene pathway, hit exploration and lead optimization has identified compounds that work through Myc-dependent mechanisms to activate apoptosis and which demonstrated significant anti-tumor activity in human cancer xenograft mouse models of liver, colorectal cancers and lymphoma. -0-
Date Time Abstract Number & Title April 14, 2008 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. #2330 -- Selective apoptosis induction in Wnt-deregulated cancer cells April 16, 2008 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. #5660 - Optimization of in vivo active small molecule tumor inhibitor targeting Myc pathway
Structure Activity Relationships for EPC2407 and Azixa
EpiCept will also give two poster presentations that describe the discovery and structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies of two series of apoptosis inducers identified using ASAP. These apoptosis inducers led to the identification of EPC2407, currently in Phase I clinical trials, and Azixa(TM), currently in Phase II clinical trials. -0-
Date Time Abstract Number & Title April 13, 2008 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. #1266 - Discovery of 4-aryl-4H- chromenes as a new series of apoptosis inducers using a cell- and caspase-based HTS assay, 5: SAR of the 2- and 3-positions April 13, 2008 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. #1265 - 2-Chloro-N-(4- methoxyphenyl)-N- methylquinazolin-4-amine (EP128265, MPI-0441138) as an inducer of apoptosis with in vivo activity
About EpiCept Corporation
EpiCept is focused on unmet needs in the treatment of pain and cancer. The Company's broad portfolio of pharmaceutical product candidates includes several pain therapies in clinical development and a lead oncology compound for AML with demonstrated efficacy in a Phase III trial; a marketing authorization application for this compound is being re-examined in Europe following a negative opinion. In addition, EpiCept's ASAP technology, a proprietary live cell high-throughput caspase-3 screening technology, can efficiently identify new cancer drug candidates and molecular targets that selectively induce apoptosis in cancer cells. Two oncology drug candidates currently in clinical development that were discovered using this technology have also been shown to act as vascular disruption agents in a variety of solid tumors.
This news release and any oral statements made with respect to the information contained in this news release, contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements include statements which express plans, anticipation, intent, contingency, goals, targets, future development and are otherwise not statements of historical fact. These statements are based on EpiCept's current expectations and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or developments to be materially different from historical results or from any future results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Factors that may cause actual results or developments to differ materially include: the risk that the Company's securities may be delisted by the Nasdaq Capital Market and that any appeal of the delisting determination may not be successful, the risk that our appeal of the negative opinion regarding the MAA for Ceplene(R) will not be successful and that Ceplene(R) will not receive regulatory approval or marketing authorization in the EU, the risk that Ceplene(R), if approved, will not achieve significant commercial success, the risks associated with our need to raise additional financing to continue to meet our capital needs and our ability to continue as a going concern, the risk that Myriad's development of Azixa(TM) will not be successful, the risk that Azixa(TM) will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that we will not receive any significant payments under our agreement with Myriad, the risk that the development of our other apoptosis product candidates will not be successful, the risk that our ASAP technology will not yield any successful product candidates, the risk that clinical trials for NP-1 or EPC2407 will not be successful, the risk that NP-1 or EPC2407 will not receive regulatory approval or achieve significant commercial success, the risk that our other product candidates that appeared promising in early research and clinical trials do not demonstrate safety and/or efficacy in larger-scale or later stage clinical trials, the risk that we will not obtain approval to market any of our product candidates, the risks associated with dependence upon key personnel, the risks associated with reliance on collaborative partners and others for further clinical trials, development, manufacturing and commercialization of our product candidates; the cost, delays and uncertainties associated with our scientific research, product development, clinical trials and regulatory approval process; our history of operating losses since our inception; the highly competitive nature of our business; risks associated with litigation; risks associated with prior material weaknesses in our internal controls; and risks associated with our ability to protect our intellectual property. These factors and other material risks are more fully discussed in EpiCept's periodic reports, including its reports on Forms 8-K, 10-Q and 10-K and other filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. You are urged to carefully review and consider the disclosures found in EpiCept's filings which are available at www.sec.gov or at www.epicept.com. You are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any forward-looking statements, any of which could turn out to be wrong due to inaccurate assumptions, unknown risks or uncertainties or other risk factors.
*Azixa is a registered trademark of Myriad Genetics, Inc.
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Robert W. Cook, 914-606-3500
Feinstein Kean Healthcare
Greg Kelley, 617-577-8110
Lippert/Heilshorn & Associates
Kim Sutton Golodetz, 212-838-3777
Bruce Voss, 310-691-7100
Posted: April 2008