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Lorus Therapeutics Announces Allowance of Australian Patent for Clinical Cancer Drug LOR-253
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Sept. 27, 2011) - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:LOR) ("Lorus"), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, research and development of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of cancer, today announced the allowance of an Australian patent for its lead small molecule anticancer drug LOR-253.
The patent covers LOR-253 composition of matter and methods of treating cancer with LOR-253. Specific cancers protected by the patent include a range of solid tumor types such as non-small cell lung cancer, colon cancer, melanoma, as well as prostate and breast cancers. This is Lorus' second Australian patent for LOR-253, and extends patent protection for this drug until 2026. Similar patents for LOR-253 are pending in Canada, China, Europe, Japan, and the United States.
"A strong intellectual property portfolio is essential for partnering," said Dr. Aiping Young, Lorus' President and CEO. "This Australian patent is important because it provides a long patent term for LOR-253 composition of matter in a large market. This kind of patent protection is in line with our overall IP strategy for LOR-253, and should facilitate business discussions for this novel cancer therapy."
LOR-253 is in a Phase I dose-escalation clinical study in patients with advanced or metastatic solid tumors who are unresponsive to conventional therapy or for which no effective therapy is available. The study, which is currently enrolling patients, is being conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Objectives of the study include the safety profile, maximum tolerated dose, and antitumor activity of LOR-253, as well as pharmacokinetics and recommended Phase II dose for subsequent clinical trials.
LOR-253 represents a new class of anticancer agent, which we believe may offer a competitive advantage over classical drugs. This drug candidate has shown selective and potent antitumor activity in preclinical investigations with a variety of human cancers, including colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer, and has demonstrated an excellent therapeutic window due to its low toxicity. LOR-253 is a first-in-class small molecule that has been optimized to inhibit the novel cancer target Metal-Responsive Transcription Factor 1 (MTF-1). MTF-1 is overexpressed in selective cancer indications, and its downregulation by LOR-253 results in induction of the novel tumor suppressor Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), leading to the downregulation of cyclin D1, an important regulator of cell cycle progression and cell proliferation. MTF-1 downregulation also results in decreased expression of genes involved in the adaptation of tumors to hypoxia (low oxygen content) and angiogenesis. Increased angiogenesis and alterations in the cyclin D1 regulatory pathway have been linked to the development of cancer.
Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the 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.
Forward Looking Statements
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