SALT LAKE CITY, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- Echelon Biosciences Inc. has initiated a collaboration with Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D. of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center to advance cell signaling cancer therapeutics. Echelon and Dr. Mills will work together to progress drug candidates through preclinical testing with the objective of evaluating any candidates through clinical studies at M. D. Anderson.
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Echelon and Dr. Mills both bring valuable and complementary skills to the collaboration. Echelon has identified multiple oncology targets that are consistent with Dr. Mill's clinical interests and research objectives. Dr. Mills is Chairman of the Department of Molecular Therapeutics and his research is directed to identifying the molecular mechanisms by which normal and cancer cells perceive and respond to their environment. M. D. Anderson is a leader in treating cancer patients and in cancer research and has expertise and resources that Echelon plans to utilize in its efforts to progress drug candidates through FDA clinical trials. Echelon will issue M. D. Anderson a warrant to acquire shares of its stock as part of an option agreement that grants Echelon commercialization rights to certain intellectual property developed through Echelon's collaboration with Dr. Mills.
Dr. Mills and Echelon will work together on a number of new and important oncology targets. The first of these will be a key signaling target called PI 3 Kinase.
Tim Miller, president of Echelon, said "By collaborating with Dr. Mills and accessing his oncology development expertise, Echelon expects to progress drug candidates into the clinic more rapidly. M. D. Anderson has the resources and expertise to complete the animal and patient trials, which will position the company to execute our plan to have two compounds in clinical trials by late 2005." William Doty, managing director of M. D. Anderson's Office of Technology Commercialization, stated "We are always delighted to help facilitate collaborations between our faculty and companies that wish to utilize the expertise of our faculty in developing new therapeutic products that, if successfully brought to market by the company, will benefit cancer patients."
About Echelon Biosciences
Echelon Biosciences Inc. is a leader in the rapidly emerging field of transduction signaling technology(s) with early therapeutic leads against ovarian cancer. The Company is focused on small molecule agonists and antagonists to lipid-protein signaling interactions which are new and important therapeutic targets.
Over the past six years, Echelon has assembled a unique scientific team and developed a strong intellectual property portfolio in the field of specialized cellular phospholipids which are elements in signaling pathways that govern cellular morphology, motility, proliferation and death. Aberrations in lipid-protein signaling interactions are involved in many diseases, including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, and a variety of inflammatory and autoimmune conditions.
Echelon is a privately held biotechnology company with no outside investment. For further information about the company please contact Tim Miller or John Wirthlin at 801-588-0455.
About M. D. Anderson
M. D. Anderson, a component of The University of Texas System founded in 1941, has established an international reputation as one of the world's preeminent centers for cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. A multidisciplinary approach, and dedication to translational research, education and prevention are hallmarks of M. D. Anderson. Looking to the future, M. D. Anderson is increasingly focused on sharing new research developments and clinical expertise through affiliations with premier institutions around the world. M. D. Anderson Cancer Center was designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) as one of the first three Comprehensive Cancer Centers in the United States. Consistently ranked one of the top two cancer hospitals in the United States by U.S. News & World Report's "America's Best Hospitals" survey -- including number one in three of the past four years -- M. D. Anderson has provided care for more than 600,000 cancer patients since 1944 and 65,000 in the last year alone. In 2003, nearly 1,000 new patients from outside the U.S. came to M. D. Anderson for care. M. D. Anderson faculty currently hold more NCI research grants and grant dollars than any other academic center in the U.S.
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