Cellona Therapeutics, Inc. and Duke University Medical Center Broaden Collaboration for Development of a New Class of GGTase Inhibitor Compounds

COLUMBIA, MD (December 20, 2010) -- Cellona TherapeuticsTM, a pharmaceutical company focused on development and commercialization of novel targeted cancer drugs, today announced the execution of an amended exclusive license agreement with Duke University that broadens the scope of geranylgeranyl transferase (GGTase) inhibitor compounds eligible for development by Cellona, and the grant of rights to the entire GGTase intellectual property and patent estate. The GGTase inhibitors are molecular targeted therapeutics currently in preclinical development to treat human cancers, and also have potential utility in non-oncology areas such as ocular, inflammation, and liver diseases.

“Our team continues to successfully execute on a milestone-driven strategic plan that builds on capitalization goals and partnering excellence. We continue to establish a pipeline of innovative therapeutics, with emphasis on certain RAS-mediated cancers and the impact of biomarkers and onco-genes such as mutant and wild-type RAS,” stated Brad Fackler, CEO of Cellona.

“I am pleased to collaborate with well-respected scientific colleagues in developing a new class of GGTase inhibitors, towards the advent of new prenylation inhibitors and RAS- targeted drugs for treating cancers with critical unmet needs,” commented Michael McKenna Ph.D., Cellona oncology Principal Investigator.

Cellona Therapeutics’ drug candidates are based on a set of prenylation pathway and GGTase inhibitors that were originally identified at the Duke University Medical Center by Patrick J. Casey, PhD. Dr. Casey is a James B. Duke professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, and Director of the Center for Chemical Biology. He owns patent rights to GGTase compounds, and has pioneered several research advances in G-protein transmembrane signaling, cancer protein function and activity, and prenylation enzymes that modify the RAS family of onco-proteins critical to cancer genesis and growth. Dr. Casey also serves as Chairman of the Cellona scientific advisory board.

About Cellona Therapeutics

Cellona Therapeutics, Inc. is a privately held pharmaceutical company developing and commercializing targeted therapeutics to improve survival paradigms in cancer patients. Our oncology compounds target novel signaling pathways, and have potential indications in large therapeutic markets with considerable unmet needs. Cellona Therapeutics is developing a new class of cancer drug to inhibit the RAS family of cancer proteins. Mutation and hyperactivity of RAS family members occurs in, and is a driver of, most human cancers. Our compounds offer selective inhibition of these onco-proteins that mediate and control cancer genesis and growth. For more information visit http://www.cellonatherapeutics.com


Cellona Therapeutics, Inc. Wendy Tsai, Vice President, tsaiw@cellonatherapeutics.com

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