OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 19, 2010) - PharmaGap Inc. (TSX VENTURE: GAP) (OTCBB: PHRGF) ("PharmaGap" or "the Company") today released initial testing results for PharmaGap's cancer drug GAP-107B8. Led by Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden, Ottawa Hospital Research Institute ("OHRI") researchers showed significant effect of GAP-107B8 in reducing tumours in mice, with no signs of toxicity. Dr. Vanderhyden stated "We are very pleased with these initial results that indicate GAP-107B8 is showing therapeutic efficacy against ovarian cancer cells implanted in mice and allowed to grow tumours. The success rate of curing women with ovarian cancer using currently available therapies is still very low, and so the identification of a possible new treatment is exciting and warrants more investigation. We are looking forward to continue working with PharmaGap on this exciting drug program."
In these tests, the two groups of mice (21 in total) were injected subcutaneously with two different ovarian cancer cell lines, and tumours were allowed to establish and grow until reaching 200 cubic millimeters in size before intra-tumoural treatment with GAP-107B8. The two human ovarian cell lines used were HEY cells and A2780cp cells. Both cell lines model aggressive human ovarian cancer in immunocompromised mice and have shown strong susceptibility to GAP-107B8 in previous in vitro testing at OHRI. The A2780cp cell line is a cisplatin/carboplatin-resistant cell line. Carboplatin forms part of the current standard of care for treatment of ovarian cancer. Recently announced results from testing at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda MD also showed that 7 different ovarian cancer cell lines were highly susceptible to GAP-107B8.
Over the course of the experiment, GAP-107B8 caused a 45% reduction in average tumour size in the A2780cp-derived tumours (at a dose of 20 mg/kg), and 75% in the HEY-derived tumours (at a dose of 40 mg/kg).
Additional in vivo testing is currently underway, and a more robust study in mice using ovarian cancers at the OHRI will be based on information learned from these initial pilot studies and on pharmacokinetics data currently being generated by PharmaGap. This larger study is expected to begin this summer.
Dr. Vanderhyden is a Senior Scientist, Cancer Therapeutics at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute and a Professor in the Departments of Cellular & Molecular Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology at the University of Ottawa. She holds the Corinne Boyer Chair in Ovarian Cancer Research. She has published over 60 peer-reviewed journal papers primarily in the area of ovarian cancer and collaborates extensively with many pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies focused on the development of therapies for ovarian cancer.
About the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute
The Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) is the research arm of The Ottawa Hospital and is an affiliated institute of the University of Ottawa, closely associated with the University's Faculties of Medicine and Health Sciences. The OHRI includes more than 1,500 scientists, clinical investigators, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows and staff conducting research to improve the understanding, prevention, diagnosis and treatment of human disease. www.ohri.ca
About PharmaGap Inc.
PharmaGap Inc. (TSX-V: GAP), based in Ottawa, ON, is a biotechnology company with a core focus on developing novel peptide therapeutics for the treatment of cancer. PharmaGap's GAP-107B8 is a novel peptide drug that has been shown to be highly cytotoxic to numerous cancer types, including chemo-resistant cancers, in vitro. For more information on PharmaGap please visit the Company's website at www.pharmagap.com.
Note: The TSX-Venture Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release. No Securities Commission or other regulatory authority having jurisdiction over PharmaGap has approved or disapproved of the information contained herein. This release contains forward looking statements that may not occur or may change materially.