TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - Aug. 29, 2012) - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (LOR.TO) ("Lorus"), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, research and development of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of cancer, today announced that the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) has awarded funding to Lorus to support development of IL-17E for cancer therapy.
The $50,000 non-repayable contribution from NRC-IRAP will be used for a pilot development project to manufacture IL-17E, which will be carried out by researchers at the National Research Council who have extensive experience in the development, recovery and purification of recombinant proteins and peptides produced by different expression systems. The NRC-IRAP support will allow Lorus to access state-of-the art knowledge and capabilities combined with the required technical equipment. The project is intended to provide technical manufacturing development and pilot scale production for IND-enabling studies in support of larger scale production of IL-17E for cancer clinical trials.
"We're very pleased to receive this financial contribution from the NRC Industrial Research Assistance Program for IL-17E," said Aiping Young, Lorus' President and CEO. "IL-17E has shown exceptional anti-cancer activity in a broad range of cancer types in preclinical studies and we believe that NRC-IRAP support, both in providing technical and business advisory services as well as funding, further verifies the merits of this development program. This support will expedite the development of initial manufacturing protocols for our development program and move us closer to initiating the studies needed to support first-in-man clinical trials with this exciting therapy."
IL-17E (also known as IL-25) is a recently identified cytokine that plays an important role in inflammation. Lorus has discovered that human IL-17E has potent anticancer properties against a range of solid tumors, including human melanoma, pancreatic, colon, lung, ovarian and breast tumor models with very low toxicity. IL-17E is highly potent and does not require further modification or optimization before proceeding to the formal IND-enabling preclinical studies planned to support advancing to a Phase I clinical trial. Lorus has selected pancreatic cancer and malignant melanoma as the initial lead cancer indications for this agent. An estimated 43,920 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year and 37,390 Americans will succumb to the disease, making it the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the US. Pancreatic cancer is a difficult-to-treat tumor type with an overall five year survival rate of 4%, the lowest for any cancer. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the US with an estimated 76,250 new cases expected to being diagnosed this year. Approximately 9,180 Americans are expected to die from malignant melanoma in 2012.
Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, research and development of novel therapeutics in cancer. Lorus' goal is to capitalize on its research, preclinical, clinical and regulatory expertise by developing new drug candidates that can be used, either alone, or in combination with other drugs, to successfully manage cancer. The Company also has expertise in antimicrobial drug discovery. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LOR.
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