Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

March 16, 2009 07:00 ET

Thallion Announces Three Presentations at the 2009 AACR Annual Meeting

MONTREAL, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 16, 2009) - Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:TLN) today announced that the Company will present non-clinical data on its Phase II oncology products, TLN-4601 and TLN-232 in three abstracts at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Association on Cancer Research (AACR) held in Denver on April 18 - 22, 2009.

"The data from these three presentations support and advance our understanding of the mechanisms of action of our two oncology products," said Lloyd M. Segal, Chief Executive Officer of Thallion. "TLN-4601 clearly inhibits Ras-MAPK pathway signaling, including the inhibition of K-Ras mutated cancer cells that exhibits resistance to other commercial compounds that target this pathway. New data show that TLN-4601 used in combination with several marketed oncology drugs increased cytotoxicity which opens the potential for combinatory opportunities. The third poster further confirms the importance of M2PK expression in mediating the cytotoxic effects of TLN-232. Taken together, these studies help to demonstrate the broad potential therapeutic benefit of our oncology products."

The three poster presentations are entitled:

1) TLN-4601 Inhibits Ras-MAPK Signaling Upstream of MEK;

2) TLN-4601 a Mutated K-Ras Signaling Inhibitor Offers a Therapeutic Option for TK Inhibitors in Resistant Cells with Activating K-Ras Mutations; and

3) M2PK Mediates TLN-232 Cytotoxicity.

The posters will be presented at the AACR Annual Meeting on April 21st from 1:00pm to 5:00pm (local time) at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver. The abstracts are available on Thallion's website at

The data from the first TLN-4601 poster provide further evidence that TLN-4601 inhibits the Ras-MAPK pathway and demonstrate that TLN-4601 does not act directly on the MEK or ERK proteins, but instead acts at a unique signaling event to other molecules in development, upstream in the pathway. Ras-MAPK pathway inhibitors represent one of the largest new drug classes that treat cancer patients.

The second TLN-4601 poster indicates that a strong therapeutic opportunity exists for the use of TLN-4601 as a K-Ras inhibitor in combination with tyrosine kinase inhibitors, such as Tarceva® or Iressa®. The results demonstrate the potential for the use of TLN-4601 with these commercially successful EGFr targeting agents for increased potency as well as overcoming resistance to these compounds.

The TLN-232 poster demonstrates that the molecule not only induces cell death, but that the presence of M2PK contributes to its cytotoxicity. M2PK is a validated cancer target that is over-expressed in many tumor types and appears to play a critical role in tumor formation and metabolism. These data suggest that agents targeting M2PK, like TLN-232, would have a broad therapeutic potential.

Thallion is currently enrolling patients in two Phase II clinical trials: a trial evaluating TLN-4601 as a monotherapy treatment for glioblastoma multiforme (an advanced form of brain tumor) patients; and a trial evaluating TLN-232 as a treatment for metastatic melanoma in patients who have failed one prior therapy. The Company expects to report tumor imaging data and initial interim data from the TLN-4601 trial in the second quarter of 2009 and dose escalation data from the TLN-232 trial in the fourth quarter of 2009.

About Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc.

Thallion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (TSX:TLN) is a biotechnology company developing pharmaceutical products in the areas of oncology and infectious disease. Thallion has three clinical programs at the Phase II stage of development. The two oncology product candidates include TLN-4601, a novel anti-cancer therapy targeting the RAS-MAPK pathway, and TLN-232, a peptide therapy targeting the M2 isoform of the metabolic enzyme pyruvate kinase (M2PK), with potential efficacy in multiple oncology indications. TLN-4601 and TLN-232 are currently recruiting patients in their respective multi-centre, Phase II, North American clinical trials. The Company's third product candidate, Shigamabs®, is a dual antibody product for the treatment of Shigatoxin producing E. coli bacterial infections. Additional information about the Company can be obtained at

About the American Association of Cancer Research, 100th Annual Meeting 2009

The AACR 100th Annual Meeting 2009, with the theme of "Science, Synergy, and Success," will highlight the best cancer science and medicine from institutions all over the world. Hundreds of invited talks from the global community of experts in today's cancer research will be presented. For additional information visit the conference website at

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, statements containing the words "believe", "may", "plan", "will", "estimate", "continue", "anticipate", "intend", "expect" and other similar expressions which constitute "forward-looking information" within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws. Forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectation and assumptions, and are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties including, but not limited to, changing market conditions, the successful and timely completion of clinical studies, the establishment of corporate alliances, the impact of competitive products and pricing, new product development, uncertainties related to the regulatory approval process and other risks detailed from time-to-time in the Company's ongoing filings with the Canadian securities regulatory authorities which filings can be found at Given these risks and uncertainties, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on such forward-looking statements. The Company undertakes no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements either as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by applicable Canadian securities laws.

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