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Esperance Pharmaceuticals Presents Poster at AACR Annual Meeting Demonstrating Synergy of Lead Candidate EP-100 with Paclitaxel in In Vitro Studies

-- Phase 1 clinical trial of EP-100 in solid tumors recently completed --
BATON ROUGE, La., April 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Drug discovery and development company Esperance Pharmaceuticals presented results from in vitro studies demonstrating synergy of EP-100 in combination with paclitaxel for the potential treatment of luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH)-receptor positive and multi-drug resistant cancers, including ovarian cancer, at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Chicago. Results have supported the initiation of a Phase 2 trial of EP-100 in combination with paclitaxel in patients with ovarian cancer. A second poster at AACR detailed in vitro results suggesting that EP-100 may have potential utility in treatment of non-Hodgkin's lymphomas, including relapsed and refractory disease. EP-100 is a targeted membrane-disrupting peptide coupled to LHRH and is designed to bind selectively to LHRH receptors which are overexpressed in a wide range of cancers. Results of the first clinical testing of EP-100 in a recently completed Phase 1 study in advanced solid tumors will be presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting in June. 

"EP-100 continues to demonstrate potential for broad utility as both a monotherapy and in combination with a wide range of therapeutics for difficult-to-treat cancers," said Dr. Hector Alila, CEO of Esperance. "Importantly, the clear synergy observed in combination with paclitaxel directly supports our plans for a Phase 2 clinical trial of EP-100 in combination with paclitaxel in ovarian cancer."

"In addition to showing synergy with paclitaxel in multiple cancers, EP-100 has shown potential synergy in combination with other chemotherapeutic agents such as doxorubicin or vincristine in multi-drug resistant non-Hodgkin's lymphoma," added Carola Leuschner, PhD, Senior Director of Biology for Esperance and lead author of the study. "These studies provide the rationale for combination studies of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma with EP-100."

Study Results

Poster #3715 "EP-100 Synergizes with Paclitaxel in Ovarian, Breast and Prostate Cancer Cell Lines"
In vitro studies were conducted to determine the effects of paclitaxel and EP-100 in multi-drug resistant LHRH receptor positive ovarian, breast, uterine sarcoma and prostate cancer cells and LHRH receptor negative ovarian cancer cells. Cells were cultured in the presence of EP-100 or paclitaxel alone or in combination and incubated for 48 to 72 hours in non-constant and constant ratio formats. EP-100 in combination with paclitaxel was highly synergistic in all cancer cell lines that were positive for LHRH receptors and potency was increased up to 5,000 fold in some cases compared to single-agent paclitaxel. Specifically, EP-100 alone killed LHRH receptor positive ovarian cancer and breast cancer cells, while both cell lines showed resistance to paclitaxel. The greatest synergy was observed in multi-drug resistant uterine sarcoma endometrial cells.  As expected, no synergy was observed in the LHRH receptor negative cell line. These results provide further rationale for the continued study of EP-100 with paclitaxel for the potential treatment of LHRH receptor positive ovarian, breast, prostate and other LHRH-receptor positive cancers.

Poster #2829 "Activity of EP-100 in Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma – Synergy in Combination"
In vitro studies were conducted to demonstrate that non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (NHL) cell lines could be targeted and killed by EP-100.  Ex vivo studies showed that EP-100 specifically killed NHL patient cells from refractory/relapsed NHL patients without killing normal cells and unconjugated CLIP-71 was ineffective. Combination of doxorubicin and EP-100 was synergistic after 72 hour incubation and study results suggest that EP-100 sensitizes doxorubicin-resistant cancer cells expressing LHRH resulting in potentiation of cell killing in a synergistic manner.

About Esperance Pharmaceuticals
Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical stage company developing a new class of targeted anticancer drugs using its Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYP™) platform technology. These drug candidates, called targeted membrane-disrupting peptides (tMDPs) and antibody drug conjugates (ADCs) selectively seek and destroy cancer cells, including cells known to be resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, without harming normal cells. Targeting occurs through binding to specific receptors and antigens on the cell's surface. The Company was founded on patented technology discovered by scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center, the Louisiana State (LSU) Ag Center and LSU main campus. Founding investors include the Louisiana Fund I, Themelios Ventures and Research Corporation Technologies. Additional investors include Sanofi, Advantage Capital Partners, Louisiana Technology Fund and private investors. More information can be found at

SOURCE Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Inc.


Posted: April 2012