Results from ValiRx in the Epigenetics Field Announced BelowLONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jun 26, 2008 - ValiRx plc (AIM:VAL, 'ValiRx'), the cancer therapeutics and diagnostics company, has announced promising in vivo results for its lead molecule VAL 101 which uses its gene silencing technology GeneICE(TM) in preclinical xenograph models of pancreatic cancer.
Studies showed that the tumour growth was less than half the size of that seen in the control group.
Based on these results, the Company will now initiate further preclinical studies with the aim of progressing VAL 101 toward Phase I regulatory filing by initiating toxicology studies. The Company has also recently expanded its product portfolio with the development of a second GeneICE(TM) anti-cancer molecule.
ValiRx's GeneICE(TM) technology platform utilises the cells' own inherent gene control machinery to effectively silence genes involved in cancer cell progression, in the case of VAL 101, targeting the anti-apoptotic gene BCL-2. These latest in vivo results follow on from studies earlier this year which provided evidence that GeneICE(TM) could trigger cell death in ovarian, pancreatic and prostate cancer cells. The application of GeneICE(TM) technology in both studies targeted the BCL-2 gene, which is often over-expressed in certain types of cancer and may lead to the development of chemotherapeutic cell-death resistance.
The Company's GeneICE(TM) technology platform recruits gene silencing factors known as Histone Deacetylase Complexes (HDACs) to genes involved in cancer cell progression, inhibiting their expression and activation. ValiRx is currently using the GeneICE(TM) platform to target other genes implicated in disease, including targets involved in neurological disease.
Commenting on these results, CEO of ValiRx Dr. Satu Vainikka said: "This first in vivo data provides further positive support for our GeneICE(TM) technology platform. By harnessing the cell's own inherent mechanisms of gene-silencing, we have shown this can be translated into tumour growth inhibition. GeneICE(TM) holds promise for application in a wide variety of disease classes".
Notes to Editors
ValiRx plc (AIM:VAL, 'ValiRx') is a cancer therapeutics and diagnostics company headquartered in London, England and admitted to AIM in October 2006. The Company operates through two subsidiaries, Cronos Therapeutics Ltd (www.cronostherapeutics.com), a UK-based epigenetic drug discovery and development business and ValiBIO SA (www.valibio.com), a Belgium-based oncology diagnostics operation.
Therapeutics - Cronos Therapeutics Ltd
ValiRx utilises a cells own inherent gene control machinery to silence genes involved in cancer cell progression, effectively "switching off" genes involved in certain forms of cancer through its platform technology GeneICE(TM) (Gene Inactivation by Chromatin Engineering),. GeneICE(TM) works through the recruitment of silencing complexes known as Histone Deacetylase Complexes (HDACs) to target genes involved in cancer. ValiRx's lead product VAL 101 targets the anti-apoptotic gene BCL-2 which is over expressed in many cancers including in pancreatic cancer.
Gene silencing technology platform potentially represents an innovative and ground breaking new approach to cancer treatment as it allows for the development of targeted, personalised medicine and treatment for patients. GeneICE(TM) is also applicable to a wide variety of other genetic disorders such as in the fields of neurology and inflammatory diseases.
Diagnostics - ValiBIO SA
ValiRx currently has two epigenetic diagnosis products - HyperGenomicsTM, a method for the detection and identification of hypersensitive sites in cells and NucleosomicsTM, a non-invasive (blood) test for early cancer diagnosis based on epigenetic signal changes associated with malignancy - which it licences to its subsidiary, ValiBIO.
More information on the Company can be found at www.valirx.com
Epigenetics is the study and manipulation of regulatory factors which regulate and determine gene expression.
Unlike mutations which occur in DNA, epigenetic changes are reversible. The 'epigenetic' modification of the genome may take many forms, such as addition of external chemical groups for example methylation, acetylation and ubiquitination on to histone proteins associated with DNA.
Research currently suggests the de-regulation of normal epigenetic control mechanisms is implicated in the development and progression of certain cancers. Hence, compounds which specifically target and reverse these changes are attractive and potentially powerful candidates for future therapeutic approaches to cancer.
Personalised medicine refers to tailoring treatment strategies to work differently in different individuals, dependant upon such factors such as their genetic profile, epigenetic profile, environment and the presence of other diseases in the individual.
College Hill for ValiRx
Sue Charles, Justine Lamond
+44 (0)20 7457 2020
CEO Dr. Satu Vainikka
+44 (0)20 3008 4416
WH Ireland Ltd
David Youngman / Adrian Kirk
+44 (0)161 832 2174
Posted: June 2008