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Lorus Therapeutics Announces Publication on LOR-2040 Anticancer Activity in Acute Myeloid Leukemia
TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Feb. 22, 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 publication of a research article by investigators at Ohio State University (OSU) demonstrating that Lorus' lead cancer drug LOR-2040, formerly known as GTI-2040, improves the anticancer effects of the chemotherapy drug Ara-C. The lead authors of the publication were Dr Ping Chen and Dr Josephine Aimiuwu who carried out these studies in the laboratories of Dr Guido Marcucci and Dr Kenneth Chan at OSU. The results in the article provide support for continuing the clinical program of LOR-2040 in combination with Ara-C in the treatment of relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
In the article, OSU investigators found that LOR-2040 significantly increased the antiproliferative activity of Ara-C in leukemia cells as a result of downregulation of the LOR-2040 target, R2. Treatment of leukemia cells with LOR-2040 plus Ara-C resulted in the production of higher intracellular amounts of Ara-CTP, which is the cytotoxic product of Ara-C, than was possible with Ara-C alone. The study also provided support for the intracellular mechanism through which this increased anti-tumor activity is achieved. LOR-2040 additionally showed a dose-dependent accumulation in leukemia cells that correlated with decreased levels of R2. The study investigators concluded that the data provided a mechanistic justification for evaluation of LOR-2040 in combination with Ara-C in AML patients.
"The findings in this publication are important because they demonstrate that LOR-2040 and Ara-C have synergistic anticancer effects in leukemia", said Dr. Aiping Young, Lorus' President and CEO. "Although Ara-C is effective in the treatment of relapsed and refractory AML, there is a need for safe and effective additional therapies to be used in combination with Ara-C to increase the rate of cancer remissions and patient survival. This article gives us further validation of the potential of LOR-2040 as an efficacious treatment for this disease."
The article entitled "Biochemical Modulation of Aracytidine (Ara-C) Effects by GTI-2040, a Ribonucleotide Reductase Inhibitor, in K562 Human Leukemia Cells" was published in the peer-reviewed journal The AAPS Journal and is available on the Journal's website.
LOR-2040 is an RNA-targeted drug that specifically targets the R2 component of ribonucleotide reductase, which is required for DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. The R2 target has been described as a malignant determinant that is elevated in a wide range of tumor types, which can cooperate with a variety of cellular cancer causing genes known as oncogenes to enhance tumor growth and metastatic potential. Through downregulation of R2, LOR-2040 has demonstrated strong antitumor and antimetastatic activity in a variety of tumor types in both in vitro and in vivo models, and has been explored in a multiple Phase I/II clinical program, including an advanced Phase II clinical trial with LOR-2040 and high dose Ara-C (HiDAC) in refractory and relapsed Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML).
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. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LOR.
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