Press release from CNW Group
Amorfix Announces the Development of Antibodies that Bind to Misfolded Fas Receptor Protein as a Potential Treatment for Cancer
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
TORONTO, May 15, 2012 /CNW/ - Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. announced today that the Company has developed antibodies that selectively target and bind to misfolded Fas receptor protein expressed on the cell surface of cancer cells. The antibodies were generated against targets identified using the Company's proprietary ProMISTM discovery technology, which is able to predict regions of proteins that are exposed only when they are misfolded in disease, and not in healthy states.
Having shown selective binding for misfolded Fas receptor protein expressed on several tumor types, the Company will take several candidate antibodies into the next phase of development to evaluate their ability to effectively kill tumors in a number of cell based assays. The Company expects to complete these studies and select a lead candidate by September of this year followed by the initiation of proof of concept studies in animal models of cancer before year end.
The Fas receptor was first identified in the mid-1980's and later developed as a promising new therapeutic target for the treatment of cancer. The biology of the Fas receptor is well characterized and it has been shown that antibody binding to Fas receptors cause cell death. Initial attempts by others to develop antibodies against Fas receptors as a novel treatment for cancer were halted because the receptor is expressed on both normal cells and tumor cells and treatment resulted in toxic side effects; particularly liver toxicity. The Amorfix antibodies were shown to bind to the majority of tumor types tested including lung, prostate, melanoma and others while only having minimal binding to few normal cell types. These results represent an important first step towards creating new therapeutics that selectively bind to misfolded Fas receptor protein which appear to be over expressed on cancer cells and represents a potential way to kill tumors without harming normal cells and, hence, without dose-limiting toxicities.
"Amorfix is on the leading edge with this very innovative approach to targeted therapy" said Dr. Robert Gundel, Amorfix President and Chief Executive Officer. "The biological function of Fas receptor has been well characterized showing that binding of the receptor leads to programmed cell death. The fact that we have demonstrated the presence of misfolded Fas receptor protein on cancer cells and developed antibodies that selectively bind to them represents a significant advance towards the goal of producing safer and more effective therapeutics compared to conventional treatments."
Cancer is a major public health problem in the United States and many other parts of the world. There are more than 1.5 million new cancer cases and almost 600,000 deaths from cancer projected to occur this year in the United States alone representing 1 out of 4 deaths. While the incidence of certain types of cancer have shown a decline in recent years, cancer remains a leading cause of death throughout the world. Typical treatments for cancer include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd. (TSX:AMF) is an early-stage product development company developing therapeutic antibodies and diagnostics targeting misfolded protein diseases. Amorfix utilizes its computational discovery platform, ProMIS™, to predict novel Disease Specific Epitopes (DSEs) on the molecular surface of misfolded proteins. Using this technology, Amorfix is developing novel antibody therapeutics and companion diagnostics for cancer and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, Amorfix has developed two proprietary technologies to specifically identify very low levels of misfolded proteins in a biological sample: Epitope Protection™ and AMFIA™, an ultra-sensitive dual-bead immunoassay. Use of these technologies has generated a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) screening test for Alzheimer's disease (AD), and an ultrasensitive method for detecting the hallmark of AD, aggregated beta-Amyloid, in brain tissue, CSF and blood from animal models of AD. For more information about Amorfix, visit www.amorfix.com.
The TSX has not reviewed and does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. This information release may contain certain forward-looking information. Such information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by statements herein, and therefore these statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. All forward-looking statements are based on the Company's current beliefs as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to it as well as other factors. Readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on these forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date of this press release. Due to risks and uncertainties, including the risks and uncertainties identified by the Company in its public securities filings, actual events may differ materially from current expectations. The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise, unless required by law.
ProMIS™, Epitope Protection™ and AMFIA™ are trademarks of Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
For further information:
Dr. Robert Gundel
President and Chief Executive Officer
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
Tel: (416) 847-6957
Fax: (416) 847-6899
Acting Chief Financial Officer
Amorfix Life Sciences Ltd.
Tel: (416) 847-6926
Fax: (416) 847-6899