VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Aug. 12, 2014) - Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corporation ("APC" or the "Company") (TSX VENTURE:APC)(FRANKFURT:0E8) is pleased to announce that it has expanded and accelerated its anticancer studies to strengthen their commercial prospects because recent positive results with collaborators have demonstrated that modifications of APC's protein delivery system substantially increases antitumor activity and retards tumor growth in animals.
First, the Company has been engaged in broadly screening its current inventory of development candidates for their attraction to target anticancer cells, which is a measurable component of their ability to find and bind to cancer cells in animals (including humans). The Company has now identified the most potent molecules in its current inventory and these molecules have been selected for study in animals.
Second, animal studies have been ongoing and the most potent molecules in Series 1 and Series 2 have been tested in animals. Both molecules retard tumor growth significantly better than the unmodified protein itself. The Series 2 molecule tested appears to be more potent than our Series 1 molecule in retarding tumor growth; both molecules are to be advanced to combination therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors as their potency justifies further development as adjuvant therapy that improves checkpoint inhibitor clinical performance.
(We have also developed chemical methods for the preparation of Series 3, but because of the encouraging activities of molecules in Series 1 and 2, testing of Series 3 has been deferred until tests on Series 1 and 2 are completed).
Thirdly, preliminary studies indicated that the Series 1 molecule in a mouse model of breast cancer retarded tumor growth, as did a related protein conjugate. This study is the first of several in which our most promising molecules will undergo testing in an expanded number of treatment models of cancer, e.g., breast, ovarian, to scope out their anticancer activities, and maximize their value commercially and therapeutically. To that end, the Company has supported studies at several Universities and is in the process of engaging contract research organizations to advance its anticancer program more rapidly.
In fact the Company is pleased to announce that it has renewed its agreement with The University of Iowa on behalf of Dr. Joel Shilyansky, MD, for the testing of protein conjugates and multimeric proteins as part of APC's "Foundation Trinity™" technology. Dr. Shilyansky, who studies the immune response in cancer patients (specifically the mechanism allowing cancers to avoid immune destruction) also holds the Robert and Hélène Soper Chair of Pediatric Surgery at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.
Dr. Shilyansky will be performing the testing of APC's protein modifications in the University of Iowa laboratories to determine their effects on tumor growth and immunogenicity. A focal point of his interest is the protection from tumor challenge afforded by proteins with high affinity for cancers cells, through immune-mediated mechanisms.
Fourth, besides our robust chemical modification capability, we are testing mutant fusion proteins, generated by recombinant DNA techniques, which are designed to allow for application of the full array of APC's enhancements to the protein delivery system, and to further strengthen its proprietary patent estate. These fusion proteins have exhibited excellent affinity for target anticancer cells and are being further modified to carry drug cargo.
Furthermore an unprecedented and exciting development has been the robust single agent activity that has been observed with immune checkpoint inhibitors which are regarded as the next big wave of cancer therapies. In contrast to traditional therapy, by mobilizing a patient's immune system, immunotherapies have been durable, rendering many patients cancer-free for years, and have persisted without off-target toxicity.
However, the majority of patients do not respond or will have an incomplete response to such checkpoint inhibitors by themselves. It is now established that such immune modulating antibody-based immunotherapies offer more benefit to the patient by being administered in combination with other forms of cancer management or in tandem with other immune modulating molecules, which is the basis for APC's current efforts.
Alexander Krantz, President and Chief Executive Officer of APC, said: "We have intensified our efforts on the development of cancer immunotherapeutics, which is regarded as the most exciting and promising area in current cancer research. With the assistance of our collaborators we have begun to establish animal models for implementing combination therapy with immune checkpoint inhibitors. Our goal is to license or advance our compounds to the clinic in partnership with Big Pharma companies, by demonstrating synergies with checkpoint inhibitors which improve immunotherapy."
"Such compounds are highly sought after, represent the state of the art in cancer therapy today, and command huge premiums from Big Pharma because of their utility. We anticipate that data from our first such studies will be available by the end of September 2014," he added.
APC has been applying its Foundation Trinity™ Technology to proteins targeted for the treatment of cancers. Advanced targeted therapies are designed to attack primarily cancer cells and are expected to dominate the anti-cancer therapeutics' market in the near future. The Company's goals are not only to employ therapy targeted for tumor cells, but also to deliver combination therapy in a single, pure therapeutic agent. To achieve this end, it has been the Company's intention to utilize a unique protein (and related systems), not only as a delivery vehicle to tumor cells, but also as a scaffold upon which to attach each anti-cancer entity to its own specific site on the protein surface - both key to efficient manufacturing and product development. The protein vehicle has emerged as a potential immunotherapeutic as it is implicated in activating the immune system to attack and help clear tumor cells. Immunotherapy is perhaps the most powerful current approach to cancer, and one of great commercial interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
ON BEHALF OF THE BOARD
Alexander (Allen) Krantz, President and Chief Executive Officer
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