BATON ROUGE, La., Aug. 24, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Esperance Pharmaceuticals Inc. today announced that it has entered into a strategic alliance agreement with MD Anderson Cancer Center to accelerate the clinical development of its lead anti-cancer candidate EP-100 for the treatment of ovarian cancer and to collaborate on preclinical studies of EP-100 as a treatment for breast cancer. At the 2015 ASCO Annual Meeting, the company reported positive results from a Phase II trial of EP-100 in ovarian cancer patients resistant to paclitaxel. EP-100 is a targeted membrane-disrupting peptide designed to seek and destroy cancer cells that overexpress luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors on their surfaces. LHRH receptors are over-expressed in a wide range of cancers including ovarian, breast, prostate, pancreatic and endometrial cancer.
As part of the strategic alliance, MD Anderson will conduct additional studies to help prepare for a Phase III trial of EP-100 in ovarian cancer, including more fully elucidating its mechanism of action and identifying potential biomarkers to support the selection of those patients most likely to respond to the drug. It also will collaborate with Esperance to conduct studies needed to initiate clinical trials of EP-100 in breast cancer and assess the anti-cancer potential of other drug candidates generated by Esperance's Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYPTM) platform technology. Further details of the agreement were not disclosed.
"The successful completion of our Phase II trial and strategic alliance with MD Anderson, one of the leading cancer centers in the world, are major milestones for Esperance," said Hector Alila, PhD, CEO of Esperance Pharmaceuticals. "Studies to date suggest that EP-100 could become a valuable novel targeted therapy for ovarian and breast cancer, as well as other indications. We see the immense value that MD Anderson brings as a partner who can ensure high quality studies that will produce an optimal design for our Phase III trials and potentially lead to accelerated review and approval. Our CLYP platform technology has also demonstrated potential across multiple cancer indications, and we look forward to working with MD Anderson researchers to realize the potential of this promising technology."
Dr. Alila continued, "It is a privilege to work with MD Anderson, and we view the ambitious nature of the collaborative program as a testament to the therapeutic promise of EP-100. We look forward to a productive relationship that has the potential to achieve important gains in the battle against cancer."
EP-100, the lead candidate from Esperance's Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYP) platform technology, is a targeted membranedisrupting peptide designed to seek and destroy cancer cells that overexpress luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors on their surfaces. LHRH receptors are overexpressed in a wide range of cancers including breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, blood, skin and testicular cancers. Results from preclinical studies of EP-100 have shown that the drug regresses established tumors in many types of cancer xenografts in mice. In a Phase II clinical trial, EP-100 demonstrated positive results in ovarian cancer patients resistant to paclitaxel.
The company's patented technology was discovered by scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center (PBRC) and Louisiana State University, EP-100 was developed at PBRC as part of a sponsored research agreement funded by Esperance under the leadership of Dr. Hector Alila and Pennington's Dr. Carola Leuschner, who is now Senior Director of Biology at Esperance.
About Esperance Pharmaceuticals
Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical stage company developing a new class of targeted anticancer drugs using its Cationic Lytic Peptide (CLYPTM) platform technology. These drug candidates, include targeted membrane-disrupting peptides and antibody drug conjugates that selectively seek and destroy cancer cells, including cells known to be resistant to chemotherapeutic drugs, without harming normal cells. Targeting occurs through binding to specific receptors and antigens on the cell's surface. The company's patented technology was discovered by scientists at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center and Louisiana State University. For more information, visit esperancepharma.com.
SOURCE Esperance Pharmaceuticals, Inc.