Antibody to begin Phase II clinical study at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program (UPCI trial 07-023)
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) to collaborate with UPCI and Life Science Pharmaceuticals to develop clinical candidate
Greenwich, CT and Tokyo, Japan Mar. 15 – Kyowa Hakko Kogyo. Co Ltd (KHK) a leading Japanese pharmaceutical company has agreed to license its monoclonal antibody KW-2871 to Life Science Pharmaceuticals (LSP). KW-2871 is a chimeric monoclonal antibody against the ganglioside antigen, GD3, which is highly expressed on melanoma cells. Several pre clinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the ability of KW-2871 to create a robust inflammatory response at melanoma tumor sites.
LSP is collaborating with LICR and the UPCI on a Phase II clinical study of KW-2871 combined with immune system stimulators. Patient accrual and dosing is expected to begin in late Q/2 or early Q/3 2007. “We are delighted to be able to return to the application of this promising antibody to melanoma, where there is a large unmet need with current available therapies” stated Dr John Kirkwood, Head of the UPCI Melanoma Center. “This chimeric antibody against one of the most prominent molecules of melanoma builds upon our experience with earlier non-chimeric antibodies and should benefit from our understanding of other successful biological agents in this disease.”
“The LSP team is enthusiastic about working with prestigious institutions like LICR and UPCI to advance the treatment of metastatic melanoma,” stated James Fiore, CEO of Life Science Pharmaceuticals. “We thank KHK for their confidence in our development capabilities.” KHK considers that the development of KW-2871, its most promising therapeutic antibody candidate, by LICR and UPCI devoted to the cutting-edge research for treatment of malignant melanoma via its licensee LSP will be the best choice and shorten the time to the NDA filing and launching.
Financial terms for the transaction have not been disclosed.
About Kyowa Hakko Kogyo. Co Ltd – KHK is committed to maximizing the value of its in-house developed drug candidates through efficient and effective development activities including alliances, thereby contributing to the heath and well-being of people worldwide.
About Life Science Pharmaceuticals – The mission of Life Science Pharmaceuticals (“LSP”) is to develop multiple monoclonal antibody therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer and autoimmune diseases. The company is currently developing four monoclonal antibody product candidates targeting multiple cancer indications. LSP maintains a collaborative relationship with the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research to develop its therapeutic candidates.
About the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research – The Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research (LICR) is the largest international not-for-profit institute dedicated to understanding and controlling cancer. With operations at 43 sites in 15 countries, the scientific network that is LICR quite literally spans the globe. LICR has developed an impressive portfolio of reagents, knowledge, expertise, and intellectual property, and has also assembled the personnel, facilities, and practices necessary to patent, clinically evaluate, license, and thus translate, the most promising aspects of its own laboratory research into cancer therapies.
About the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program – Under the leadership of John M. Kirkwood, M.D., UPCI’s Melanoma and Skin Cancer Program pioneered work with biological treatments for melanoma that led to the first adjuvant therapy for patients with high-risk melanoma. Internationally-renowned for its groundbreaking research on new and effective treatments for melanoma and skin cancer, the program is currently conducting a number of highly promising clinical trials with cancer vaccines to spur the body’s own immune system into recognizing and destroying melanoma.
For additional information contact: James Fiore (203) 656 2500