VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - March 23, 2009) - Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Inc. - (APT), a subsidiary of Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corporation (TSX VENTURE: APC), working with privately-held Atreus Pharmaceuticals Corporation (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), is pleased to announce that its scientists have successfully site-specifically modified annexin V, a member of the annexin family of human plasma proteins using a proprietary chemical approach. This result will enable attachment of a variety of chemical entities to annexin V to generate a series of potential products of commercial value. The first of the series is a conjugate of 1,4,7-Triazacyclononane-1,4,7-Triacetic Acid (NOTA) and recombinant human annexin V that the companies are developing as an in vivo imaging biomarker for use in evaluating response to therapy of anti-inflammatory diseases and cancer on a patient-by-patient basis. The first NOTA-annexin commercial product for research use to emerge from the partnership is now in development.
Annexin V has been the object of intense efforts to develop in vivo molecular imaging agents based on the ability of this protein to bind to cells undergoing programmed cell death (apoptosis) and necrosis. Previous human studies with product generated from non-site directed protein modification techniques have demonstrated the potential of annexin imaging to detect early rheumatoid arthritis, early response of Crohn's disease to anti-cytokine therapy, myocardial damage in acute myocardial infarction, and early response of tumors such as lymphoma to anti-cancer therapy. The surge in apoptosis research and the discovery of the specific role of annexin V in attaching to such cells marking them for disposal by circulating white cells known as macrophages have generated widespread interest.
APT's ability to site-specifically label recombinant human annexin V provided by Atreus Pharmaceuticals provides a powerful technological platform by which numerous bioimaging candidates can be generated, in the first instance for diagnostic purposes, as in vivo imaging agents, and subsequently as potential therapeutic agents for clinical use.
Allen Krantz, President and CEO of Advanced Proteome Therapeutics, stated that "site specific labeling of annexin V represents an important milestone relevant to a joint development program with Atreus Pharmaceuticals of in vivo imaging biomarkers for clinical and research use. This discovery enables the generation of candidates for serious consideration for testing in a fast track development program."
Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Inc. and Atreus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. are engaged in a strategic research and development agreement to explore the development of novel in vivo imaging agents using advanced site-directed protein and peptide modification techniques developed by APT for specific applications identified by Atreus.
About Advanced Proteome Therapeutics Corp. (APC).
APC's primary corporate mission is to apply its proprietary drug delivery and drug redevelopment technologies to produce new, improved versions of therapeutic proteins and pioneer the emerging field of protein-site targeting for commercially relevant applications. The market for therapeutic proteins and peptides is expected to surpass more than 50 Billion USD by the year 2010 and is the fastest growing segment of the pharmaceutical market. Future growth however depends largely on the industry overcoming a number of hurdles, including drug delivery challenges.
About Atreus Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada):
Atreus Pharmaceuticals Corporation is an Ottawa, Ontario, based privately-held biomedical company which is applying recent findings in molecular medicine to the development of new agents for the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases characterized by inflammation and cell death. Its lead products are annexin-based agents for imaging and therapy of early rheumatoid arthritis and for the identification of early response of patients with Crohn's disease to anti-cytokine therapy.
The forward-looking statements contained in this news release involve risks and uncertainties, and are subject to change based on various important factors including timely development and acceptance of new products, gaining product approval, successful entry into new markets, changes in financing conditions, and changes in FDA regulations.