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Lead Antibodies Selected For Breast Cancer Testing

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Perseis Therapeutics has completed the in vitro testing phase of its antibody screening programme, and has selected three fully human monoclonal antibodies to validate in an animal model using human breast cancer cells.

Perseis is developing antibodies targeting Trefoil Factors ("TFF"s) 1 and 3 for the treatment of breast and other cancers. Perseis was formed in 2009 as a joint venture between Neuren Pharmaceuticals and the Breast Cancer Research Trust to develop the research of Professor Peter Lobie and his team at the Liggins Institute in Auckland.

TFFs are proteins, produced by cancer cells and regulated by estrogen, that act as growth factors, promoting cancer growth and spread in a number of solid tumours including breast, colon, prostate and stomach cancer. TFFs are expressed in up to 68% of breast cancers, have been detected in the blood of patients who still have residual disease after treatment, and are strongly associated with survival in breast cancer patients with metastatic disease.

Monoclonal antibodies are the leading approach to molecular targeting, the fastest growing segment of biopharmaceuticals. Molecularly targeted drugs and biologics exhibit highly specific activity, often with better efficacy and fewer side effects than traditional drugs.

In the course of its antibody development programme, Perseis has screened a large number of candidates from three pools of mouse antibodies produced in Australia, Singapore and China. However, the lead antibodies to be taken into animal models originate from a human antibody fragment library. Fully human antibodies typically result in shorter and less expensive development, and reduced risk of patient reactions to residual murine proteins in the finished drug product.

"We are very excited by these results, which have been the result of considerable effort by world-class researchers across the globe," says Tony Mofatt, CEO of Breast Cancer Research Trust.

"As Perseis moves forward with this exciting programme, we are hopeful that it will support our goal of finding a cure for breast cancer by 2018."

Perseis is engaged in discussions with a number of global pharmaceutical companies, and intend to enter into a licensing or collaborative agreement based on results from the confirmatory in vivo studies.

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