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Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and the University of Pittsburgh Sign Exclusive Global Licensing Agreement of CSPG4 Specific Monoclonal Antibodies

5/17/2010 9:39:12 AM

MADISON, Miss.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced a global licensing deal with the University of Pittsburgh covering a series of novel monoclonal antibodies for cancer. The antibody portfolio targets a variety of cancers through the cell surface chondrotin sulfate proteoglycan 4 (CSPG4), which plays an important role in signaling pathways regulating tumor cell survival, growth, and motility. Melanoma, triple negative breast cancer, head and neck cancer, leukemia, bone & joint cancer, and brain cancer are a few indications present within the scope of antibodies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Hawthorn will receive an exclusive worldwide license to develop and commercialize the antibody portfolio.

“We are excited to be working with the world class cancer scientists at University of Pittsburgh’s Cancer Institute who have devoted their entire careers to improving people’s lives through cancer discovery,” said Rob Lewis, chief scientific officer at Hawthorn. “The CSPG4 surface antigen represents a significantly untapped therapy approach which is intensely expressed in a variety of cancers and affects a whole host of downstream signaling activities. Together, we plan to fully exploit the advantages of the CSPG4 specific monoclonal antibody portfolio and bring additional cancer therapies to patients.”

“There are many strengths created by our relationship with the University of Pittsburgh that promotes the rapid development of these novel antibodies,” said Max Draughn, president and chief executive officer of Hawthorn. “Our collaboration is a shared vision to ultimately extend and improve the lives of many children and adults who suffer with various cancers.”

Research indicates the CSPG4 surface antigen is intensely expressed in multiple cancer types and affects the downstream signaling of PI3K/Akt/PKC/FAK/Src/Erk/PDK. It is also detected on tumor cells with ‘stem cell like’ phenotypes indicating its role in cancer stem cell immunotherapy activity.

About Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals, Inc., founded in 1998, is a commercial stage specialty pharmaceutical company that develops and markets prescription pharmaceutical products to multiple physician specialties. Hawthorn’s broad pipeline represents the therapeutic areas of respiratory, nephrology, dermatology, oncology, CNS and neurology. The company has established strategic corporate alliances with multinational companies. For more information, please visit the Hawthorn Pharmaceuticals web site at

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