HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Sept. 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- EGEN, Inc. is collaborating with the National Cancer Institute's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory in Frederick, Md., to accelerate human clinical testing of a nanotechnology-based gene therapy for brain cancer.
EGEN's candidate gene therapy -- which relies on nanoparticles for effective delivery to the tumor site -- is already being evaluated in Phase I and II clinical trials in patients with colorectal and ovarian cancers. EGEN is seeking to begin Phase I trials against glioblastoma, a brain cancer that is difficult to treat.
The NCI's Nanotechnology Characterization Laboratory, operated under contract by SAIC-Frederick Inc., is part of the NCI Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, and a partnership between NCI, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Food and Drug Administration. The laboratory evaluates nanoparticles for their physical and chemical properties and for their behavior in laboratory and animal models -- all prerequisite to human testing in medical procedures.
"We are very pleased to be able to utilize the resources of the NCL for advancing our novel IL-12 gene therapy for the treatment of glioblastoma," said Dr. Jason Fewell, Vice President of Preclinical Research and Development for EGEN, Inc. "By working with NCL we are hopeful that we can quickly advance this treatment strategy into additional cancer indications, including brain tumors, where we believe that it may offer significant therapeutic benefit."
The collaboration is part of an intensive effort by NCI to accelerate new technologies and treatments for people living with cancer and AIDS. The Advanced Technology Partnerships Initiative responds to a number of national studies, including a Government Accountability Office report citing barriers to the translation of new discoveries into effective clinical products. The report called for better collaboration among government, industry, and academia.
About EGEN, Inc.
EGEN, Inc. (EGEN), located in Huntsville, Alabama, is a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on developing therapeutics for the treatment of human diseases including cancer. The Company specializes in the delivery of therapeutic nucleic acids (DNA and RNAi) and proteins aimed at specific disease targets. The Company has a significant intellectual property position in synthetic carriers, their combination with oligonucleotides, and their therapeutic applications. EGEN also has research pipeline products aimed at treatment of various cancer indications and has collaborations with outside investigators, biotech organizations and universities on various projects in these areas.
SAIC-Frederick Inc. is the prime contractor for NCI's research and development center in Frederick, Md. This is a national laboratory dedicated to rapidly translating basic research into new technologies for diagnosing, treating, and preventing cancer and AIDS. SAIC-Frederick conducts basic research and maintains a full suite of advanced technologies in areas such as nanotechnology, genomics, proteomics, and imaging. The company operates the federal government's drug and vaccine manufacturing facilities; operates the high-performance Advanced Biomedical Computing Center; and supports more than 300 clinical trials for patients in the United States and around the world. SAIC-Frederick is a wholly owned subsidiary of SAIC, a Fortune 500® company (NYSE: SAI).
Safe Harbor for Forward Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release may be deemed to be forward looking statements under federal securities laws and EGEN intends that such forward looking statements be subject to the safe harbor created thereby. EGEN does not undertake an obligation to publicly update or revise any forward looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Actual events or results may differ from our expectations as a result of a number of factors, including but not limited to uncertainties in clinical trials and product development programs, ability and success level of the Company in securing adequate capital for operations, market place acceptance of any resulting product and other factors common to biotechnology research and development. There can be no guarantee that any product in our pipeline will be successfully developed.
SOURCE EGEN, Inc.