BANNOCKBURN, Ill., June 27, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Pinnacle Oncology LLC, a subsidiary of Pinnacle Biologics Inc. announced a wide ranging agreement with the University of Chicago for the acquisition of its technology and intellectual property rights for the development of a compound, amifostine, to prevent genomic instability caused by a variety of sources of ionizing radiation exposure including common Computer Tomography (CT) scans.
Amifostine was initially developed by the United States Army to protect military personnel from the toxic effects of radiation exposure in the event of a nuclear war. Animal studies revealed that amifostine is very effective in protecting against genomic instability and associated long term genomic damages resulting from radiation exposure, such as from CT scans and other diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology procedures that lead to DNA damages, chromosomal aberrations and gene mutations, all of which are associated with the cancer development processes.
"There are many potential uses for amifostine," said David Grdina, Professor of Radiation and Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago and inventor of the technology behind the development of amifostine as a genomic stabilizing agent, "In addition to protecting against genomic instability, somatic mutagenesis and carcinogenesis, amifostine may also facilitate protection against germ line mutations. These exposures can come from a variety of sources including common diagnostic procedures, such as computer tomography (CT) scans and more generalized environmental exposures, as recently evidenced by the nuclear plant accident in Japan." At present, none of these potential uses have been approved by the FDA.
According to Viren Grover, Vice-Chairman at Pinnacle Biologics, "It is clear that CT scans have revolutionized diagnostic imaging and while they can provide great medical benefits, there is concern that diagnostic CT scans may be responsible for elevating genomic instability processes. Over 70 million CT scans were performed in the U.S. alone in 2007. A study led by National Institute of Cancer suggested that this may contribute to 29,000 new cancers each year along with 14,500 deaths. Our proposal is to develop amifostine for the prevention of genomic instability in high risk individuals undergoing CT diagnostic procedures."
About Pinnacle Biologics, Inc.
Pinnacle Biologics, a privately held bio-pharmaceutical company, specializes in revitalizing healthcare therapies to fulfill their true potential and to maximize favorable patient outcomes. This is accomplished through licensing and acquisition of specialty pharmaceuticals and medical devices. Our innovative approach to opportunity analysis, business development, lifecycle management, regulatory expertise and distribution leverage takes each product to its highest degree of potential and maximum patient benefit.
About University of Chicago
The University of Chicago is a private, nondenominational, culturally rich and ethnically diverse coeducational institution of higher learning and research. The University enrolls approximately 15,500 students overall and in 2010 received $472 million in sponsored research funding. Since 1892, UChicago scholars, scientists and educators have made a profound and lasting impact upon the world. The University's Office of Technology and Intellectual Property, UChicagoTech, manages the University's dissemination of intellectual property through commercial channels, including inventions, software, and educational or research materials involving new information technology.
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SOURCE Pinnacle Biologics, Inc.