April 04, 2006 13:00 ET

Human Kallikreins Shown to Affect Survival in IBEX Ovarian Cancer Study

WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA--(CCNMatthews - April 4, 2006) - Today at the Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research, IBEX Technologies Inc. (TSX:IBT), an innovator in the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for the management of cancer and arthritis, and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Center presented data on the possible cancer inhibiting effects of certain kallikreins.

Human tissue kallikreins are a family of 15 enzymes which are a subset of the serine protease family. The best known kallikrein is human kallikrein 3 (hK3), also known as Prostate Specific Antigen (or PSA), which is the basis for the well known prostate cancer screening test. IBEX has a portfolio of issued and filed patents on a large portion of the kallikrein family and is studying these kallikreins for their diagnostic and therapeutic potential.

In two separate studies, stable ES-2 (human ovarian cancer cell line) transfectants expressing human tissue kallikreins were injected into female nude mice intraperitoneally. Results from these two studies showed that expression of certain kallikreins, either in combination or individually, resulted in a delay of the onset of symptoms and significantly prolonged survival times, when compared to the control group.

Importantly, the survival of animals injected with cells expressing a high level of human kallikrein 10 (hK10) alone, was significantly longer than animals in the control group. These studies also demonstrated that the survival of mice injected with cells expressing a high level of human kallikrein 6 (hK6) alone had significantly shorter survival time than animals in the control group.

This latter result is consistent with a report by Diamandis et al (Journal of Clinical Oncology: 21(6) 1035-43, 2003) which demonstrated that ovarian cancer patients with high serum levels of hK6 at the time of resection had significantly poorer outcomes than patients that had low levels of hK6.

The physiological functions of the tissue kallikreins are just beginning to be elucidated. These in vivo experiments indicate that individual kallikreins can have diverse effects on tumor growth and can potentially be attractive therapeutics or drugable targets.

Paul Baehr, President & CEO of IBEX Technologies comments on the studies, "Conventional wisdom would lead most researchers to believe that inhibiting kallikreins would make a lot of sense from a therapeutic standpoint. That is exactly what we found with kallikrein 6. What we did not expect to find was the up-regulation of kallikrein 10 having a protective effect in ovarian cancer models. IBEX will continue studying these important enzymes for their diagnostic and therapeutic potential."

About AACR

The American Association for Cancer Research's Annual Meeting is the world's largest and most comprehensive gathering of professionals in the cancer field, encompassing basic, translational, and clinical research. For more information please visit www.aacr.org

About Ovarian Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, ovarian cancer accounts for 6% percent of all cancers among women and ranks fourth as a cause of their deaths from cancer. The American Cancer Society statistics for ovarian cancer estimate that there will be 22,220 new cases and 15,310 deaths in 2006. The death rate for this disease has not changed much in the last 50 years. Unfortunately, almost 70 percent of women with the common epithelial ovarian cancer are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced in stage.

About IBEX

IBEX is focused on the development of diagnostics and therapeutics for the management of cancer and arthritis. The Company's cancer program is based on a novel family of genes known as kallikreins. IBEX is developing kallikrein-based diagnostics for screening and monitoring cancer. Additionally, IBEX is exploring the role of kallikreins in metastatic disease for use as potential therapeutics. The Company's arthritis program is based on a series of biomarkers of cartilage degradation and synthesis. For more information on IBEX please visit www.IBEX.ca.

Safe Harbor Statement

All of the statements contained in this news release, other than statements of fact that are independently verifiable at the date hereof, are forward-looking statements. Such statements, based as they are on the current expectations of management, inherently involve numerous risks and uncertainties, known and unknown. Some examples of known risks are: the impact of general economic conditions, general conditions in the pharmaceutical industry, changes in the regulatory environment in the jurisdictions in which IBEX does business, stock market volatility, fluctuations in costs, and changes to the competitive environment due to consolidation or otherwise. Consequently, actual future results may differ materially from the anticipated results expressed in the forward-looking statements. IBEX disclaims any intention or obligation to update these statements.

Contact Information

  • IBEX Technologies Inc.
    Paul Baehr
    President & CEO
    (514) 344-4004
    LaVoie Group
    Bryan P. Murphy (media)
    (781) 596-0200, ext. 105