Pantarhei Bioscience Announces Discovery of Antigen (ZP3) as a Treatment to Combat Ovarian Cancer

Published: Nov 11, 2011

11 November 2011 Netherlands: Pantarhei Bioscience - a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of innovative, proprietary treatments in the fields of women’s health and endocrine cancer - announces the publication in the Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB J October 5, 2011) of the results of an innovative treatment strategy for ovarian cancer - which has now been selected to appear in the Faculty of 1000 (F1000) emphasizing its significance.

In collaboration with Prof Nafis Rahman of the University of Turku (Finland) and Prof Ilpo Huhtaniemi of Imperial College London (UK), Pantarhei Bioscience is developing the Zona Pellucida protein 3 (ZP3) antigen as immunisation strategy against ZP3 positive ovarian cancer.

The F1000 library is a worldwide institute of international repute that selects high value peer-reviewed scientific articles and ranks them providing an overview of articles significance to the scientific community. Pantarhei’s article has been ranked in the top 2% of biology and medicine articles by reproductive medicine expert Prof Henry Burger.

“Our results in a transgenic mouse model for granulosa cell tumors show that early preventive immunisation with recombinant human (rh) ZP3 prevented ovarian tumorigenesis, and that delayed therapeutic immunisation reduced weights of existing tumors by 86 and 75% respectively”, commented Profs Rahman and Huhtaniemi. “Furthermore, liver metastases were found in controls, but none following active rhZP3 immunisation. Immunisation with rhZP3 was highly effective, as demonstrated by the induction of anti-ZP3 antibodies, as well as proliferative responses to the ZP3 antigen”, concluded both scientists.

Prof Herjan Coelingh Bennink, gynecologist and founder and CEO of Pantarhei Bioscience, added “after recurrence and metastasis no treatment exists for this life threatening disease with a 5-year survival rate of only 20%. Our treatment strategy opens new options for patients having ZP3 positive ovarian cancer, which we estimate to be the case in 100% of the metastasised granulosa cell carcinomas and in 70 % of the epithelial carcinomas”.

The project is seen as a groundbreaking milestone by Pantarhei and development, upon further finance, into a phase I/II clinical proof-of-concept study will start shortly with the hope of fast regulatory tracking to make this treatment available for patients as soon as possible.

About Pantarhei Bioscience B.V.

Pantarhei Bioscience B.V. is a specialty pharmaceutical company focusing on the development of innovative, proprietary treatments in the fields of Women’s Health and the Endocrine Treatment of Cancer. Within these disease areas, Pantarhei has generated product opportunities based on its ability to identify (novel) medical uses for endogenous human biologicals and/or (combinations of) existing drugs. The Company's lead product is Estetrol (E4) a natural human estrogen for e.g. oral contraception, hormone replacement therapy, breast- & prostate cancer and osteoporosis. Other priority projects are the ZP3 project for ovarian cancer and the ARC project solving mood and sexual problems associated with androgen loss during oral contraception.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

About University of Turku

University of Turku, Finland, is an internationally competitive research university whose operation is based on high-level multidisciplinary research with 3.500 employees, 21.000 students, 2.500 postdoctoral students and annual budget of EUR 220 million. The institute encompasses seven faculties: Humanities, Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Medicine, Law, Social Sciences and Education and Economics. The University of Turku recognises areas of strength in molecular biosciences, cardiovascular and metabolic research, ecological interactions and ecological genetics research, learning and education research, future studies and research on institutional design and social mechanisms, resulting in over 3.000 academic publications per year.

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