AGY IDENTIFIES AND PATENTS PROMISING DRUG TARGETS FOR MOST COMMON AND DEADLY BRAIN TUMORS
SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. November 22, 2002 AGY Therapeutics, Inc., today announced that research using the company's proprietary imAGYneTM platform resulted in the identification of highly specific targets that could lead to treatments and new diagnostic tests for the most common and deadly brain tumors. Study results related to these targets are being presented this week at the Seventh Annual Society for Neuro-Oncology (SNO) meeting in San Diego.
The research identified specific genes and their proteins that are present in excessive amounts in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a deadly type of brain tumor for which there is no cure. AGY scientists validated the leading potential therapeutic targets using high throughput cell-based assays designed to measure the role of each target in tumor growth and metastasis. The most promising target, AGY-401, recently was awarded broad protection by a U.S. patent. While AGY-410 is present at low levels in a normal brain, according to the study, the protein is induced in 86 percent of GBMs.
Because current therapies have not significantly improved survival rates among brain tumor patients, AGY is pursuing a program to identify novel and highly specific therapeutics that interfere with the pathology of GBM. The program is focused on the development of monoclonal antibodies against specific targets for the treatment and diagnsosis of GBM. In addition small molecules are being developed against targets involved in pathways of tumor growth.
"Neuro-oncology is a very important area of research for AGY because new, more effective therapies are so badly needed. The antibody targets we have identified are very promising and we plan to pursue preclinical development of therapeutic agents next year," said Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D., founder and chief executive officer of AGY Therapeutics. "We are also very pleased to have received the first patent related to our brain tumor program."
AGY Therapeutics recently was issued U.S. patent No. 6,455,026 entitled Use of Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Zeta as a Biomolecular Target in the Treatment and Visualization of Brain Tumors. The patent relates to the use of proteins that are differentially expressed in primary brain tumor tissues as compared to normal brain tissues, and immunotherapeutic and immunoimaging agents that specifically bind to human protein tyrosine phosphatase-zeta for the treatment and visualization of brain tumors in patients.
The AGY-related abstract being presented at this week's SNO meeting is listed below and can be viewed at www.soc-neuro-onc.org:
Abstract #80: Identification of Therapeutic Targets by Expression Profile Analysis and Functional Validation of Differentially Expressed Genes in Glioblastoma Multiforme, Erik D. Foehr, Sabine Mueller, Gustavo Lorente, April Nelson, and Mirella Gonzalez-Zulueta, AGY Therapeutics, Inc., South San Francisco, Calif; Manfred Westphal, UK Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany; Darell Bigner, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC. (Oral presentation by Erik Foehr on Fri., Nov. 22 at 9:45 a.m. EST, Room Manchester ABC).
For additional information contact:
Karoly Nikolich, Ph.D.
Chief Executive Officer
AGY Therapeutics, Inc.
AGY Therapeutics' proprietary imAGYne platform defines the intra- and extra-cellular signaling pathways that underlie the pathological progression of central nervous system (CNS) diseases, so novel, high-quality targets can be carefully selected and functionally validated with the most valuable targets advanced into drug discovery and development. To date, AGY Therapeutics has identified and characterized a vast number of promising drug targets to treat or diagnose CNS diseases.
About AGY Therapeutics
AGY Therapeutics, Inc., a privately-held biotechnology company, is dedicated to discovering and developing novel treatments for central nervous system (CNS) diseases, including stroke, Alzheimer's disease, depression, brain tumors and obesity.
This news release contains forward-looking statements about future research and development efforts. These statements represent our judgment as of the date of this news release and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those expressed in such forward-looking statements. In particular, we face risks and uncertainties that further research into these genes may not go forward as planned or that future scientific data on these genes may not provide supportive data for the diseases we are targeting.