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8/6/2009 11:54:43 AM
Ottawa, Ontario, August 6, 2009 – PharmaGap Inc. (TSX-V: GAP) (“PharmaGap” or “the Company”) and the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (“OHRI”) today released initial testing results for PharmaGap’s cancer drug GAP-107B8 (formerly PhG-alpha-1). Led by Dr. Barbara Vanderhyden, OHRI researchers conducted cell growth (proliferation) assays using nine (9) ovarian cancer cell lines in order to assess the efficacy of the drug as a single agent therapeutic and in combination with the current standard of care chemotherapeutic agent used to treat the majority of ovarian cancer cases each year in North America. The ovarian cancer cell lines tested at the OHRI were derived from human carcinomas and included serous, endometrioid and clear cell subtypes.
Results of testing conducted by Dr. Vanderhyden’s group showed that GAP-107B8 as a single agent was a potent inhibitor of ovarian cancer cell proliferation. Over the 48-hour test period, a statistically significant reduction in cell proliferation was observed in eight (8) of the nine (9) ovarian cancer cell lines tested, including in two (2) cell lines resistant to the standard of care chemotherapy. GAP-107B8 (25 ;m) inhibited cell proliferation by 30% to 79% compared with untreated cells, with a greater than 50% inhibition in proliferation being observed in four (4) of the eight (8) cell lines. One (1) of the resistant cell lines, when treated with GAP-107B8 alone, showed the highest reduction in proliferation of all the cell lines tested (79% relative to the untreated control group, and 78% relative to a control group treated with the chemotherapeutic agent alone). “We are very pleased that the data clearly show an impact of this peptide on some of our most aggressive ovarian cancer cell lines” stated Dr. Vanderhyden.
Figures from the U.S. National Cancer Institute (“NCI”) indicate that in 2009 ovarian cancer was anticipated to afflict almost 22,000 women and that 14,600 would succumb to the disease (www.cancer.gov). Despite advances in radiation therapy and chemotherapy, the 5-year survival rate for advanced stages of ovarian cancer is less than 30 percent, primarily due to the difficulty of early detection for this type of cancer and the common recurrence of chemoresistant disease.
Robert McInnis, President and Chief Executive Officer of PharmaGap stated, “We are delighted that Dr. Vanderhyden’s laboratory at OHRI has reported compelling results for GAP-107B8. Independent validation of the potency of our novel drug compound by a world-class research facility is an important step in our program to develop this novel anti-cancer agent. As a result of these positive results we look forward to continue working with the OHRI in the GAP-107B8 testing program with additional in vitro studies and in animal models of ovarian cancer developed by Dr. Vanderhyden’s group.”
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 1,300 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 designed to inhibit the activity of protein kinase C (“PKC”), a cell
signalling enzyme implicated in certain types and stages of cancer. Independent peer-reviewed
research has demonstrated that the overexpression of PKC plays a role in the development of
ovarian cancer. During 2009 the Company embarked on a program of independent validation of
its drug compounds, resulting in testing at OHRI, the National Cancer Institute (results pending)
and other independent laboratories. For more information on PharmaGap please visit the
Company's website at www.pharmagap.com.