Champions Biotechnology Enters into Licensing Agreement with Yale University and Southern Research Institute for the Repurposing of Bithionol for Oncology
Baltimore, MD – November 18, 2009 – Champions Biotechnology, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: CSBR), an oncology drug development company with a predictive preclinical platform aimed at accelerating the development and enhancing the value of oncology drugs, has established an exclusive licensing agreement with Yale University and Southern Research Institute for the development of Bithionol for cancer treatment. Scientists from Yale and Southern Research found that Bithionol, a drug available for helminthic infections, shows activity against solid cancerous tumors and has the potential to treat melanoma, prostate, breast and lung cancer, among other cancers.
Their research found that Bithionol is an Autotaxin inhibitor that is expected to be useful in treating various types of cancer. By inhibiting Autotaxin (ATX), a prometastatic enzyme, Bithionol inhibits myriad of biological activities, including angiogenesis and the promotion of cell growth, survival, and differentiation. ATX increases the aggressiveness and invasiveness of transformed cells, and ATX levels directly correlate with tumor stage and grade in several human malignancies.
Under the terms of the agreement, Champions will have exclusive rights and be responsible for the further development of Bithionol for all oncology indications. Yale and Southern Research will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties. Additionally, the parties have agreed upon certain terms favorable to developing world markets.
Champions will use its predictive Biomerk Tumorgraft platform to assess the efficacy of the compound—alone and in combination with other compounds—to determine its optimal application and enable efficient clinical development. Upon successful results, Champions will move the compound forward into human clinical trials. “The benefits of our predictive Tumorgraft evaluation are further enhanced by the fact that Biothionol is already available for a different indication. We therefore expect an accelerated regulatory path to proof of clinical concept,” said Guy Malchi, head of corporate development for Champions.
This is the third compound to be in-licensed into Champions’ rapidly growing pipeline of oncology compounds. Recently, Champions announced the licensing of TAR-1, a single-chain antibody fragment, from Ramot at Tel Aviv University.
“We are excited to work with Champions’ experienced scientific team to translate these promising early findings towards a meaningful clinical program by leveraging Champions’ preclinical platform,” said Demetrios Braddock, M.D., Ph.D., Associate Professor of Pathology in Yale School of Medicine and the Yale inventor of the licensed technology.
“It is gratifying to see the work of Southern Research and Yale scientists being channeled in this way, and to hopefully lead to the development of another new drug for cancer patients,” said Nancy M. Gray,
Ph.D., vice president of Corporate Development for Southern Research Institute. “This licensing opportunity with the Champions team fits quite well within Southern Research’s own mission of conducting basic and translational research that ultimately leads to the approval of a new drug.”
The work was funded, in part, by the Yale Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) grant from the National Center for Research Resources at the National Institutes of Health.
Champions Biotechnology, Inc. is engaged in the development of advanced preclinical platforms and tumor specific data to enhance and accelerate the value of oncology drugs. The Company’s Preclinical Platform is a novel approach based upon the implantation of primary human tumors in immune deficient mice followed by propagation of the resulting engraftments (Biomerk Tumorgrafts) in a manner that preserves the biological characteristics of the original human tumor. Early studies suggest that unlike traditional xenografts, these Tumorgrafts closely reflect human cancer biology and their response to drugs is predictive of clinical outcomes in cancer patients. Champions Biotechnology leverages its preclinical platform to evaluate drug candidates and to develop a portfolio of novel therapeutic candidates. As drugs progress through early stage development, the Company plans to sell, partner or license them to pharmaceutical and/or biotechnology companies, as appropriate. The Company also offers its predictive preclinical platform and tumor specific data to physicians for personalized patient care and to companies for evaluation of oncology drugs in models thatintegrate prognostic testing with biomarker discovery. For more information regarding Champions Biotechnology’s growing business and recent news, please visit www.championsbiotechnology.com or www.personalizedcancertreatment.com.