TORONTO, ONTARIO, Jul 18, 2012 (MARKETWIRE via COMTEX) -- Soricimed Biopharma Inc., a private company developing novel cancer therapeutics and diagnostics, is collaborating with Mount Allison University to design and develop new biologic drug conjugates for oncology based on the company's proprietary drug delivery system. The research will involve attaching cancer drugs to one of Sorcimed's targeted oncology drugs, SOR-C27, which binds directly to cancer tumours. The ultimate goal of the collaboration is to advance the efficacy of chemotherapy drugs while reducing the treatment's traumatic side effects.
"Given the highly targeted way in which our peptides bind to cancer cells, we hypothesize that lower doses of chemotherapy will be required if attached to SOR-C27 as a payload," said Jack Stewart, Chief Scientific Officer and Chair of Soricimed Biopharma. "The hope is that efficacy could be improved with fewer traumatic side effects because of greatly reduced doses that are targeted directly to the tumour itself."
"This is an exciting collaboration," said Dr. Stephen Westcott, one of the Mount Allison researchers involved in the project and a Canada Research Chair. "My research team has considerable expertise in the synthesizing of new drug candidates and in conjugating molecules. It's a great opportunity to pair Soricimed's breakthrough discoveries with the work we are doing, our facilities, and capabilities." Dr. Vett Lloyd of the Department of Biology, a molecular geneticist and partner in the endeavour added, "By putting together such a consortium with the capacities of my group, with Steve's team and Soricimed's drug development expertise we expect some very exciting science."
Soricimed is able to undertake this research project thanks to winning New Brunswick Innovation Foundation's R3 Challenge, R3 standing for "recognizing research results". The prize included $50,000 worth of research and development services at a post-secondary or a research organization in New Brunswick. "We are very grateful to the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation for this opportunity," said Paul Gunn, President & CEO of Soricimed Biopharma. "Any resulting drug conjugate becomes a proprietary new chemical entity which will really build value for Soricimed by broadening our early stage pipeline. We couldn't undertake this biologic drug conjugate research without the support of the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Mount Allison University."
Soricimed recently announced that they have received IND clearance to commence human trials of their first anti-cancer drug, SOR-C13. SOR-C13 is a peptide that binds to and inhibits the non-voltage gated calcium channel (TRPV6) over-produced in epithelial cancers such as ovarian, breast, prostate and others. SOR-C13 induces apoptosis (cell death), inhibits cell proliferation and reduces tumor volume while minimizing side effects associated with traditional chemotherapy. Soricimed is also developing a blood test to detect early stage cancers.
ABOUT SORICIMED BIOPHARMA
Soricimed Biopharma Inc. is a private drug and diagnostic development company created in 2005 by Professor Jack Stewart and Paul Gunn following the discovery and development of a proprietary peptide, soricidin. Soricidin is the basis for Soricimed Biopharma Inc.'s targeted cancer management program focused on cancer, therapeutics and diagnostics. Using focused innovative strategies in collaboration with major world-class cancer research institutions, Soricimed's drugs have demonstrated a capability to reduce cancer cell viability, induce apoptosis and reduce human tumour volume while minimizing side effects in various classic animal and in vitro tumour models. Privately held, Soricimed is funded through private investors and various programs from the Government of Canada. For more information, visit www.soricimed.com
ABOUT MOUNT ALLISON UNIVERSITY
Ranked as the #1 undergraduate university in Canada by Maclean's magazine, Mount Allison is recognized for having a highly-regarded science program. The program is home to a number of internationally-renowned researchers, including three Canada Research Chairs, and has developed expertise in a wide variety of fields including medical physics, biochemical cancer research, astrophysics, cell research, and aquatic research, among others. With access to modern facilities, state-of-the-art laboratories and equipment, and international collaborations, Mount Allison scientists, researchers, and students have positioned themselves at the forefront of scientific inquiry.
For more information on New Brunswick Innovation Fund, visit www.nbif.ca .
SOURCE: Soricimed Biopharma Inc.