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Scientists at Almac Discovery and Queen’s University Belfast Discover Novel Approach to Treat Cancer Patients


4/4/2011 7:18:39 AM

04 April 2011: Scientists from the School of Pharmacy at Queen’s University Belfast and Almac Discovery Ltd, announce the first publication describing a potential new anti-angiogenic therapy based on a natural protein first discovered at QUB. Anti-angiogenics prevent the growth of new blood vessels in tumours and starve them of nutrients, leading to inhibition of tumour growth.

The paper, published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, describes the anti-angiogenic activity of the natural protein, FKBPL, and peptides derived from it. Both the full length protein and the smaller peptides disrupt the tumour blood supply, leading to highly effective inhibition of tumour growth in models of prostate and breast cancer. One of the active peptides is being developed by Almac Discovery for the treatment of solid tumours.

Professor Tracy Robson, who lead the QUB group said, ‘We are excited by the therapeutic possibilities opened up by this research and look forward to continuing this successful and stimulating collaboration with Almac Discovery’ .

Dr Stephen Barr, President & Managing Director of Almac Discovery said, ‘This is a first class example of a collaboration between academia and industry to produce a novel approach to cancer therapy that has a real chance of helping patients’.

Anti-angiogenic therapies are well established for the treatment of cancer, but current therapies are all based on disrupting the activity of one growth factor, VEGF. The work from this collaboration may provide a first-in-class therapy that targets tumor angiogenesis by an entirely different pathway to those agents currently on the market.

For media enquiries please contact:

Tristan Jervis , Associate Director

DeFacto Communications

T.Jervis@Defacto.com

Tel: + 44 2078 613019

Claire O’Callaghan

School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University

c.ocallaghan@qub.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0) 2890 975391 or 07814422572

Robert Grundy, PhD

Director Research Alliance, Almac Discovery Ltd

Robert.grundy@almacgroup.com

T: +44 (0) 28 3833 2200

(1) Professor Tracy Robson from The School of Pharmacy at Queen’s is available for interview. Interview bids to Claire O’Callaghan.

Professor Tim Harrison from Almac Discovery is available for interview. Interview bids to Tristan Jervis, De Facto.

(2) About Almac Discovery Ltd.

Almac Discovery is an independent member of the Almac Group. The company is focused on the discovery and development of novel and innovative approaches to the treatment of cancer and associated conditions. Projects will generally be taken to clinical proof of concept (or earlier) before out-licensing or partnering for further development. Founded in 2008, Almac Discovery is located in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. For more information, visit www.almacgroup.com/discovery

(3) About Almac Group

The Almac Group provides a broad range of services from R&D, biomarker discovery and development, API manufacture, formulation development, clinical trial supply and IXRS technology (IVRS/IWRS), to commercial-scale manufacture. Almac provides services to more than 600 companies, including all the world leaders in the pharmaceutical and biotech sectors. The company employs over 3,000 individuals and is headquartered in Craigavon, Northern Ireland. US operations are based in Pennsylvania, North Carolina and California. Almac has now moved into its new $120m North American Headquarters located in Souderton PA.

For more information about the Almac Group, please visit www.almacgroup.com or e-mail info@almacgroup.com (4) Anti-angiogenic therapies are well established for the treatment of cancer, but current therapies are all based on disrupting the activity of growth factors. The work from this collaboration may provide a first-in-class therapy that targets tumour angiogenesis by an entirely different pathway to those agents currently on the market.


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