COLUMBIA, Md., Sept. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- A&G Pharmaceutical, Inc., a theranostics company focused on the development of new monoclonal antibody- based therapeutic and diagnostic products, announced today that it has raised $2 million in Series A financing. Proceeds from the financing will be used to conduct clinical testing of the company's GP88 Biopsy Staining Kit for breast cancer, under development to help physicians determine prognosis and aid in determining the risk of breast cancer recurrence.
New England Partners served as lead investor for the financing. Other participating investors include the Maryland Venture Fund (the venture arm of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development) and Crocker Capital.
"A&G'S GP88 tissue biopsy kit will answer substantial unmet needs in breast cancer prognosis, and do so at the point of diagnosis," said Ginette Serrero, PhD, CEO of A&G. "Having secured our Series A funding, we are positioned to complete clinical trials on this kit in fall 2005 and to submit a Premarket Notification with the FDA thereafter."
The GP88 tissue biopsy staining kit is one of three diagnostic products under development by A&G to enable physicians to detect and monitor the presence of breast cancer. In addition to the biopsy kit, A&G is pursuing development and commercial introduction of the first available serum-based diagnostic kits for breast cancer screening, diagnosis, and monitoring. The three kits are based on the company's patented and proprietary GP88 technology.
"A&G's GP88 diagnostic kits are not only leading edge-they have the potential to shift the population of breast cancer patients to an earlier tumor stage," noted Tom Hancock, a Partner at New England Partners.
About the GP88 Technology
A&G's GP88 technology detects a tumor biomarker known as PC Cell-Derived Growth Factor (PCDGF-GP88, or GP88), an autocrine growth factor produced by breast cancer cells that is found in blood and tissue of breast cancer patients. GP88, which was discovered by A&G founding scientist and CEO Ginette Serrero, PhD, has been found to be expressed in 80% of breast cancer, in correlation with parameters of poor prognosis. A&G's GP88 growth factor has also been found to be associated with the development of malignant drug- resistant cancer. Preclinical studies conducted by A&G have demonstrated that inhibition of GP88 expression suppresses breast cancer cell growth and reduces the ability of certain breast cancer cells to become hormone-resistant. GP88 has wide potential application in the development of new monoclonal therapeutic antibodies and companion diagnostic tests to detect and treat breast cancer and other cancers.
About A&G Pharmaceutical, Inc.
A&G Pharmaceutical (http://www.agrx.net) is a theranostics company creating and developing monoclonal antibodies to cancer-specific targets as a basis for novel therapeutic and diagnostic products. The company is currently advancing a near-term opportunity to develop and commercialize a line of diagnostic test kits that will improve early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of breast cancer based on GP88, a patented and proprietary growth factor discovered by A&G researchers. Concurrently, A&G's therapeutic division is pursuing development of anti-GP88 monoclonal antibody therapeutics for cancer. A&G's customized antibody service generates revenue to fund the drug development effort by accelerating the generation of novel, functional antibody therapeutics for leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies as well as federal laboratories. A&G has raised $3.5 million of equity capital and is located in Columbia, Md.
This press release is available at http://www.agrx.net
CONTACT: Michael Keefe
A&G Pharmaceutical, Inc.