September 07, 2005 08:00 ET

IBEX Announces Release of New hK6 Assay for Ovarian Cancer

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 7, 2005) - IBEX Technologies Inc. (TSX:IBT) today announced that it has released for sale its second kallikrein-based assay for ovarian cancer. The new assay for human kallikrein 6 (hK6) is initially for research use only.

IBEX previously released hK10, another ovarian cancer assay for research purposes, in September 2004. Preliminary studies conducted by Dr. Eleftherios Diamandis, et al, of Toronto's Mt. Sinai Hospital, have demonstrated that elevated expression of hK6 and hK10 in ovarian cancer correlated with poorer prognosis and patient survival (references cited below). Further studies conducted by IBEX have confirmed that serum levels of hK6 are significantly elevated in ovarian cancer patients.

"Preliminary studies have indicated that hK6 enhances the detection capability of the approved ovarian cancer assay CA-125," said Paul Baehr, IBEX President and CEO. "We are now working with a number of multinational diagnostic companies to explore the use of hK6 and other of our kallikreins in high throughput clinical diagnostic systems."

About Kallikreins

Kallikreins are a subgroup of the serine protease enzyme family. It was previously held that the human kallikrein family consisted of only three members, however in the last several years the entire human kallikrein locus was discovered and found to contain 15 genes. Of these 12 new kallikreins, IBEX holds license to patents and patent applications to eight of the new genes, and rights to patents and patent applications for various diagnostic and therapeutic uses of all 12 new kallikreins.

There is strong evidence linking kallikreins and cancer. Human kallikrein 3 (hK3, also known as Prostate Specific Antigen), for example, is a widely used biomarker for prostate cancer with annual sales in the U.S., Europe and Japan of more than US$350 million. Several other kallikreins are differentially expressed at both the mRNA and protein levels in various malignancies and may have prognostic value.

1. Luo LY, Katsaros D, Scorilas A, Fracchioli S, Bellino R, van
Gramberen M, de Bruijn H, Henrik A, Stenman UH, Massobrio M, van der
Zee AG, Vergote I, Diamandis EP.
The serum concentration of human kallikrein 10 represents a novel
biomarker for ovarian cancer diagnosis and prognosis.
Cancer Res. 63(4):807-11, Feb 2003.

2. Luo LY, Katsaros D, Scorilas A, Fracchioli S, Piccinno R,
Rigault de la Longrais IA, Howarth DJ, Diamandis EP.
Prognostic value of human kallikrein 10 expression in epithelial
ovarian carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 7(8):2372-9, Aug 2001.

3. Katsaros D, Scorilas A, Fracchioli S, Soosaipillai A, Grass L, van
Gramberen M, Yousef G, de Bruijn H, Henrik A, Stenman UH, Massobrio
M, van der Zee AG, Vergote I, Diamandis EP.
Human kallikrein 6 (hK6): A new potential serum biomarker for
diagnosis and prognosis of ovarian carcinoma.
Journal of Clinical Oncology, 21 (6), March 2003.

4. Diamandis EP, Yousef G, Soosaipillai A, Bunting P.
Human kallikrein 6 (Zyme/Protease M/Neurosin): A new serum biomarker
of ovarian carcinoma.
Clinical Biochemistry, 33 (7), October 2000.

About IBEX Technologies

IBEX Technologies Inc. is a Montreal-based biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of therapeutics and diagnostics for the management of cancer and arthritis. The Company also markets a series of proprietary enzymes (heparinases and chondroitinases). One of these, IBEXTM Heparinase I, is used in medical devices monitoring hemostasis in a broad range of clinical settings. The Company's cancer program is based on a novel family of genes known as kallikreins. IBEX is exploring the role of kallikreins in metastatic disease, as well as developing diagnostics to measure abnormal kallikrein levels in blood. The Company's arthritis program involves a series of biomarkers of cartilage degradation and synthesis. IBEX arthritis assays are currently being used by several leading pharmaceutical companies for research purposes. For more information, please visit the IBEX Web site at www.ibex.ca.

Caution concerning forward-looking statements

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
    The Equicom Group Inc.
    Bruce Wigle
    Investor Relations
    (416) 815-0700 ext. 228