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Telik, Inc. (TELK) Receives $1.5 Million National Cancer Institute Contract To Develop Novel Antibody-Based PET Imaging Agent For Pancreatic Cancer


8/25/2014 8:59:52 AM

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SAN DIEGO, Aug. 25, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Telik, Inc. (OTCQB: TELK), a clinical stage oncology drug development company that merged with MabVax Therapeutics, Inc. on July 8, 2014, announced today it has received a $1.5 million contract for the Phase 2 portion of a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI).  The contract is intended to support a major portion of the preclinical work being conducted by MabVax, together with its collaboration partner, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) to develop a novel Positron Emission Tomography (PET) imaging agent for detection and assessment of pancreatic cancer.

In August 2014, MabVax Therapeutics, Inc., the wholly owned subsidiary and primary business unit of Telik, Inc., and MSKCC completed the Phase 1 of the SBIR contract by successfully demonstrating the feasibility of the project enabling the follow-on contract award. The research contract accrues to Telik as a result of the July 2014 merger with MabVax.

J. David Hansen, Chief Executive Officer of Telik, commented, "Receiving the $1.5 million grant for the second phase of the NCI's research contract to develop a PET imaging agent for pancreatic cancer solidifies the preeminent position that the antibody discovery and development program developed by MabVax plays in the post-merger company. Given the inadequacy of early diagnostic screening techniques combined with typical late stage diagnosis, pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related death in the United States. As such, new diagnostic tools specific to pancreatic cancer have the potential to address the clear need for earlier detection, as well as improving treatment regiments utilizing targeted therapies.  Our radiolabeled 5B1 antibody represents the only human-derived agent in development specifically aimed at improving imaging in pancreatic cancer."  

The carbohydrate antigen sialyl-Lewisa (sLea) is expressed on pancreatic colon and stomach cancers cells at high levels where it is used as a tumor marker and presents an attractive molecular target. sLea  facilitates tumor adhesion and extravasation that are key events for tumor metastasis, and thus presents a marker for the very cells that cause cancer recurrence. Increased sLea expression on tumors is correlated with poor clinical outcome.  MabVax Therapeutics has generated fully human monoclonal antibodies against sLea with unusual high affinity for this carbohydrate ligand. MabVax discovered the 5B1 anti-sLea antibody from a patient who was vaccinated with a sLea anti-cancer vaccine that is licensed to MabVax Therapeutics from MSKCC. 

About Telik and MabVax, Post-Merger

On July 8, 2014, Telik, Inc. merged with MabVax Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the development of vaccine and antibody based therapies to address unmet medical needs in the treatment of cancer.  MabVax has discovered a pipeline of human monoclonal antibody products based on the protective immune responses generated by patients who have been immunized against targeted cancers. Therapeutic vaccines under development were discovered at MSKCC and are exclusively licensed to MabVax prior to the merger.  The post-merger company is currently evaluating development programs under way at Telik prior to the merger, in addition to plans to continue developing the existing pipeline at MabVax.  Additional information about the company is available at www.telik.com.

Forward Looking Statements

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" regarding matters that are not historical facts, including statements relating to diagnostic applications, pre-clinical and clinical development programs, and merger with MabVax Therapeutics, Inc.  Because such statements are subject to risks and uncertainties, actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements.  Words such as "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "intends," "will," "potential," "hope" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.  These forward-looking statements are based upon current expectations of the Company and involve assumptions that may never materialize or may prove to be incorrect.  Actual results and the timing of events could differ materially from those anticipated in such forward-looking statements as a result of various risks and uncertainties.  Detailed information regarding factors that may cause actual results to differ materially from the results expressed or implied by statements in this press release relating to the Company may be found in Telik's periodic filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including the factors described in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in its annual report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2013 and in the Proxy Statement dated July 25, 2014, as amended and supplemented from time to time.  The parties do not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements contained in this press release.

Non-Solicitation

This communication does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities or a solicitation of any vote or approval.  Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of documents about the company filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC") and by Telik through the website maintained by the company and the SEC at www.sec.gov.  Copies of the documents filed with the SEC by Telik will also be available free of charge on Telik's website at www.telik.com.  These documents can be obtained free of charge from the sources indicated above.

SOURCE Telik, Inc.

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