Angiolix Is Effective In Ovarian And Breast Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture
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Access Pharmaceuticals, Somanta Pharmaceuticals announced new data emerging from a pre-clinical collaboration with Imperial College London suggests that Somanta's Angiolix could be effective in the treatment of ovarian cancer.

The work, undertaken in the laboratory of Dr. Mahendra Deonarain of Imperial's Faculty of Natural Sciences has shown that Angiolix can specifically localize to human ovarian cancers using three different ovarian cancer types, whilst sparing normal tissues. In addition, high doses of Angiolix were seen to be non-toxic in healthy mice. Examination of tumor tissues using state-of-the-art microscopy showed that Angiolix rapidly and evenly distributes throughout the tumor tissues in the matrix surrounding all the tumor cells.

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Angiolix is a humanized monoclonal antibody that recognizes a migrating adhesion molecule called Lactadherin. Data suggests that tumor cells express Lactadherin which is a factor in the proliferation of the vasculature which is necessary to support tumor growth. Several existing or potential anti-cancer drugs (such as Avastin(R)) seek to block tumor vascularization by blocking a signaling protein know as vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). The binding of Angiolix to Lactadherin is thought to cause a VEGF independent integrin receptor signaling cascade that blocks vascular endothelial cell proliferation. Somanta has previously reported the effectiveness of Angiolix in models of human breast cancer.

"This is an important discovery," said Dr. Agamemnon Epenetos, CEO of Somanta. "We have already understood that Lactadherin is present in breast cancers but had not previously known whether other cancer types express this factor. The work with Imperial College London confirms the presence of Lactadherin in ovarian cancer and that Angiolix binds to its target in ovarian cancer models. This data opens the door to the potential use of Angiolix for tumors other than breast cancer. Moreover, we are aware that researchers are currently experimenting to learn what additional tumor types besides breast and ovarian cancer may express also Lactadherin."

Access and Somanta have entered into a definitive merger agreement for Access to acquire Somanta. Under the terms of the merger agreement, Access will issue 1.5 million shares of common stock to Somanta stockholders in exchange for all the outstanding capital stock of Somanta. The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

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