SYDNEY, Sept. 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- EnGeneIC, Ltd., an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on revolutionizing the treatment of cancer through the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents directly to cancer cells, announced that, together with the Asbestos Disease Research Institute (ADRI), it has received the 2014 Cancer Institute New South Wales (NSW) Premier's Award for Excellence in Translational Cancer Research. The other four recipients are the hospitals that will be involved in the clinical trial, being the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Strathfield Private Hospital, Royal North Shore Hospital and Concord Repatriation General Hospital. The recipients will receive a $20,000 prize to go towards furthering their research on microRNA replacement therapy for the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
The award, which was presented on August 22, 2014, recognized the multidisciplinary team of scientists, clinicians and biotech experts for rapidly bringing their research in MPM into the clinical trial stage in less than three years. The MesomiR-1 trial is the first trial to focus on MPM and NSCLC and represents a promising new approach against these cancers.
Himanshu Brahmbhatt, Ph.D., joint-CEO of EnGeneIC, stated, "There is a significant medical need to develop new therapies aimed at treating MPM and NSCLC. The findings from this research have also led to the development of a promising treatment strategy using EnGeneIC's EDV™ nanocells to replenish the lost family of microRNAs in MPM tumor cells."
Tumor samples stored in the ADRI mesothelioma biobank, one of Australia's largest repositories of tumor samples, were analysed by Dr. Glen Reid and Professor Nico van Zandwyck of the ADRI. They discovered that an entire microRNA family, the miR-15/16 group, was lost in MPM tumor cells. When these microRNAs was restored using EnGeneIC's bacterially-derived and antibody-guided EDV™ nanocells, the researchers at EnGeneIC and ADRI observed growth inhibition in the MPM cells in a mouse xenograft model.
Jennifer MacDiarmid, Ph.D., joint-CEO of EnGeneIC, added, "We are very honored to receive this prestigious research award from the NSW Cancer Institute. This recognition demonstrates that our proprietary EDV™nanocell platform is a truly enabling technology which allows microRNA replacement therapy in serious cancers like MPM."
About EDV™ Nanocell Technology
EnGeneIC's bacterially-derived EDV™ nanocells are a powerful nanoparticle drug delivery system designed to directly target and effectively kill tumor cells with minimal toxicity, while at the same time stimulate the immune system's natural anti-tumor response.
Intravenously injected EDV™ nanocells exit the leaky vascular system only within tumors and attach to cancer cells via a specially designed, targeted bi-specific antibody. Once attached, the nanocell is able to enter the tumor cell and deliver a drug payload of up to one million drug molecules per nanocell. In parallel, the bacterial cell wall of the nanocells stimulates key components of the immune system, which are then activated to seek out and destroy cancer cells.
About EnGeneIC, Ltd.
EnGeneIC is an emerging biopharmaceutical company focused on revolutionizing the treatment of cancer through the targeted delivery of therapeutic agents directly to cancer cells. The company's lead technology platform, EDV™, utilizes antibody-targeted, bacterially derived, non-living "nanocells" to release high concentrations of chemotherapeutic agents, molecularly targeted drugs, and RNA-interference molecules directly into targeted tumor cells. Doing so, EDV™ nanocells enable current cancer treatments to be more potent and far less toxic, while also offering a potential new means for treating drug-resistant cancers. EnGeneIC is currently preparing an IND for FDA submission, with plans to launch a Phase1/2a clinical trial in recurrent glioblastoma patients in early 2015. Trials are also in initial or planning stages for non-small cell lung cancer.
For more information please visit www.engeneic.com
Jennifer MacDiarmid, Ph.D.
Joint-CEO and Director
SOURCE EnGeneIC, Ltd.