TORONTO, June 5, 2013 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences announced today that it has completed a second series of studies in a preclinical ovarian cancer animal model. The Company recently reported positive results of the first proof of concept study evaluating the ability of their lead ovarian cancer antibody drug conjugate (ADC) to reduce tumor growth in a rapidly growing animal model of ovarian cancer. These most recent data confirm this activity in a second, more slowly growing tumor model and show a statistically significant inhibition of tumor growth compared to control animals.
"These are exciting results indicating that our therapeutic antibodies can specifically deliver a toxic payload directly to tumors resulting in an inhibition of tumor growth," said Dr. Neil Cashman, Amorfix co-founder, CSO and Chairman. "Our antibodies are generated against disease specific epitopes (DSEs) identified with our proprietary ProMIS™ discovery technology that enable the selective targeting and killing of tumor cells while sparing normal cells. These proof of concept studies validate this very innovative approach to therapeutic intervention and represent a novel path forward for the development of cancer treatments that are more effective and safer than existing cancer therapeutic regimens."
"We have made excellent progress with our ovarian cancer program which demonstrates the value of our business model of identifying good partners and forming strategic alliances that enable the rapid development of novel therapeutics," said Dr. Robert Gundel, Amorfix President and CEO. "We are excited about these most promising results as ovarian cancer is an area of high unmet medical need and represents a very large commercial opportunity for the Company."
The Company, in collaboration with Helix BioPharma, is developing this ADC as a novel treatment for ovarian cancer. The ADC is composed of antibodies against misfolded prion protein and urease, an enzyme that acts upon a substrate compound called urea and generates toxic metabolites that kill tumor cells.
The Company recently announced that exposure of ovarian tumor cells to paclitaxil, a standard chemotherapeutic agent used for the treatment of ovarian cancer, resulted in an increased binding of the ADC. These results suggest that a synergistic killing effect may be generated by co-administration of chemotherapy drugs and the ADC. The Company is currently planning these combination studies in animal models of ovarian cancer.
About the ProMIS Discovery Technology
Amorfix's proprietary drug discovery technology, ProMIS™, is a computer based algorithm that predicts Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs), those regions of proteins most likely to misfold in diseases. Misfolded proteins are found in numerous diseased cells, including various cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. The Company uses this technology to identify DSEs that are only expressed on tumor cells and not normal cells which enables it to develop antibodies that only bind to and kill tumor cells without affecting normal cells. Using this technology, Amorfix has the potential to create antibody therapeutics that are more efficacious and have a much better safety profile, with fewer side effects than current cancer therapeutics.
About Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is the fifth most common cancer among women, and it causes more deaths than any other type of female reproductive cancer. Most deaths from ovarian cancer occur in women age 55 and older. Ovarian cancer is often not diagnosed until late-stage disease when the cancer has spread to other organs in the body, which contributes to the short survival time following diagnosis. Ovarian cancer is typically treated with surgery and chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is not very effective as a treatment and is associated with a number of potential dose-limiting side effects due to its non-specific killing of both tumour and normal cells.
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX: AMF) is an early-stage product development company developing therapeutic antibodies and diagnostics targeting misfolded protein diseases. Amorfix utilizes its computational discovery platform, ProMIS™, to predict novel Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs) on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this technology, Amorfix is developing novel antibody therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, Amorfix has developed two proprietary technologies to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample: Epitope Protection™ and AMFIA™, an ultra-sensitive dual-bead immunoassay. Use of these technologies has generated a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) screening test for both Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and an ultrasensitive method for detecting the hallmark of AD, aggregated beta-Amyloid, in brain tissue, CSF and blood from animal models of AD. For more information about Amorfix, visit www.amorfix.com.
The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This information release may contain certain forward-looking information. Such information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by statements herein, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to it as well as other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by the Company in its public securities filings, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by law.
ProMIS™, Epitope Protection™ and AMFIA™ are trademarks of Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
SOURCE Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.