Marillion Pharmaceuticals licenses Bracco Imaging's novel targeted
prostate and breast cancer treatments
24 November 2008
Marillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bracco Imaging S.p.A., one of the
world’s leading companies in the diagnostic imaging business and part of
the Bracco Group, announced today that the two companies have entered
into a license agreement granting Marillion exclusive worldwide rights
to complete clinical development and to commercialize Bracco’s
177Lu-AMBA for the treatment of hormone-resistant prostate and advanced
(metastatic) breast cancers.
“177Lu-AMBA is a targeted radiotherapeutic that utilizes an
innovative receptor-based technology. In contrast to traditional modes
of treatment for advanced cancers, this unique targeting capability
means that 177Lu-AMBA is able to home in on tumour cells and spare
"In addition, up to 70% of patients with prostate cancer have bone
metastases which cause unrelenting pain. Early clinical trials have
shown that these metastases may also be effectively targeted by
177Lu-AMBA”, commented Dr. Zahed Subhan, Chief Executive Officer,
“An effective targeted radiotherapeutic for the treatment of advanced
prostate and breast cancers would potentially create a new billion
dollar drug class. There are currently only marginally useful treatments
for the later stages of these pathologies,” added Dr. Subhan.
“We believe Marillion is a strong partner for 177Lu-AMBA based on the
company’s extensive background and focus on oncology drug development,”
commented Michael Tweedle, Ph.D., President and CEO, Bracco Research USA
Inc., one of the three proprietary research centers of the Group, based
in Princeton, New Jersey.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prostate and breast
cancers affect more than 4 million patients via new diagnoses each year.
Prostate cancer is a chronic disease occurring in men over 50 years old.
The cancer evolves in two phases. Initially, most prostate cancers
depend on male hormones for their sustained growth and anti-hormonal
therapies can initially be effective in stabilizing the cancer.
Inevitably however, tumour progression resumes despite anti-hormonal
treatment. The prognosis for these hormone-refractory prostate cancer
patients is poor. Their treatment option is presently limited to
chemotherapy as the accepted standard of care. The median survival
expectancy for these patients does not exceed 19 months.
More than 2 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year.
Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of the disease and
occurs when the cancer spreads to distant organs in the body. Treatment
of metastatic breast cancer generally focuses on relieving symptoms and
extending a woman’s lifetime.
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