Arius Announces Cancer Stem Cell Antibody Program Successfully Completes First Toxicology StudyLead Antibody Targeting Novel Epitope of CD44 Found in Breast Colon, and Prostate Cancers
TORONTO, Oct. 23, 2007/PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Arius Research Inc., , a biotechnology company discovering and developing the next wave of antibody therapeutics, today announced that the lead drug candidate from its CD44 Cancer Stem Cell program has successfully completed its first toxicology study and has shown good efficacy in animal models. ARIUS' program targets a novel epitope of CD44 that has been found in a number of cancer indications including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Two humanized versions of the CD44 targeting antibody have been generated in preparation for the initiation of human clinical trials in 2008.
"To be effective against cancer, a treatment must eliminate the cancer stems cells that at the heart of the disease that are driving tumor growth and seeding new tumors," said Dr. David Young, President and CEO. "Our CD44 targeting antibody is one of the most advanced drug candidates to target cancer stem cells. CD44 is considered an especially attractive target for anti-tumor drug discovery and development because it has been identified as a cancer stem cell marker in breast, prostate and colon cancers. Having now successfully completed our initial CD44 toxicology study, we look forward to moving our CD44 antibody toward human clinical trials in 2008."
ARIUS has demonstrated that its antibody targets a novel epitope of CD44 that is present on the majority of human tumors. A dose-ranging pilot toxicology study in non-human primate models demonstrated no dose-limiting toxic effects at doses up to 95 mg/kg. Effects observed in healthy animals were minor and transient.
Additional information can be found at AACR-NCI-EORTC 2007 International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in San Francisco at the following location and times: Abstract B41: "Toxicology and pharmacokinetics of chimeric ARH460-16-2, a therapeutic monoclonal antibody targeting CD44." Session B, Wednesday, October 24, 2007, between 12:30-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
ARIUS' CD44 targeting antibody has demonstrated significant tumor growth inhibitory activity in in vivo animal models of breast, prostate, liver, and AML cancers. In breast cancer models, the antibody demonstrated tumor regression with increased survival at all doses. Two humanized versions of the antibody have been generated and their affinity is comparable to that of the chimeric and murine antibodies. The results of this study have also demonstrated the potential for the antibody to target the cancer stem cell antigen in breast cancer. The potency of the two humanized antibodies on tumor growth inhibition has been demonstrated in established tumor models in preparation for human clinical trials in 2008.
Additional information can be found at AACR-NCI-EORTC 2007 International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics in San Francisco at the following location and times: Abstract A74: "Chimeric and humanized versions of the anti-CD44 monoclonal antibody ARH460-16-2 have potent anti-tumor efficacy in established models of human breast and metastatic liver cancer." Session A, Tuesday, October 23, 2007, 2007, between 12:30-2:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m.
ARIUS is a biotechnology company discovering and developing the next wave of antibody therapeutics. Established in 1999, ARIUS has built a proprietary technology platform, FunctionFIRST(TM), that rapidly identifies and selects antibodies based on their functional ability to affect disease. This antibody generation engine has enabled ARIUS to assemble a portfolio of more than 400 antibody candidates. In addition to the antibodies it is developing in-house, ARIUS has ongoing partnerships with key biotechnology and drug development companies. ARIUS is listed on the TSX under the symbol "ARI". For further information, visit www.ariusresearch.com
Certain statements in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such statements. Forward-looking statements in this release include, but are not limited to, ARIUS successfully advancing its new product programs as well as licensing opportunities. These statements are only predictions and actual events or results may differ materially. Factors that could cause such actual events or results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements to differ materially from any future results expressed or implied by such statements include, but are not limited to: early stage of development; technology and product development; dependence on and management of current and future corporate collaborations; future capital needs; uncertainty of additional funding; no assurance of market acceptance; dependence on proprietary technology and uncertainty of patent protection; intense competition; manufacturing and market uncertainties; and government regulation. These and other factors are described in detail in ARIUS' Annual Report, forthcoming news releases and other filings with Canadian securities regulatory authorities available at www.sedar.com. Forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and ARIUS is not obligated to update such information to reflect later events or developments.
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CONTACT: Warren Whitehead, C.M.A., Chief Financial Officer, ARIUS ResearchInc., (416) 862-2323 ext. 214, ,; James Smith, Investor Relations, (416) 815-0700ext. 229, firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Ticker Symbol: (Toronto:ARI.)
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Posted: October 2007