NCI Awards A&G Pharmaceutical $2 million for Clinical Trial in Lung Cancer

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A&G Pharmaceutical (A&G) was awarded a Phase 2 SBIR after successfully completing pre-clinical testing of a therapeutic monoclonal antibody specific for the autocrine growth and survival factor GP88. The $2 million will fund manufacture of clinical grade monoclonal anti-GP88 and “First-in-Human” clinical trials of anti-GP88 in patients with lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be 222,500 new lung cancer cases and 155,870 related deaths in the US in 2017. 1-year and 5-year survivals are estimated at 44% and 17% respectively. While research and development for therapeutic agents in lung cancer has focused on identifying and targeting the molecular pathways underlying key processes in malignancy and resistance to Standard of Care therapy, survival in patients with lung cancer remains low and as such new targeted therapies are badly needed.

A second thoracic malignancy with major unmet medical needs is Mesothelioma; ~3,000 cases are diagnosed annually in the US, with 1-year and 5-year survivals estimated at 33% and 9% respectively.

Ginette Serrero, A&Gs CEO discovered the link between GP88 and cancer. Laboratory studies demonstrated that GP88 enabled cancer cells to proliferate and migrate. Additionally, GP88 was shown to be responsible for development of drug resistance in cancer cells, making many cancer therapies used in the clinic today ineffective for tumors expressing high levels of GP88 such as aggressive lung cancer and mesothelioma. Thus, blocking the action of GP88 on cancer cells inhibits growth, proliferation and drug resistance. A&G’s monoclonal antibody against GP88 has been demonstrated in pre-clinical models to inhibit growth of lung cancer tumors and potentiates drug sensitivity in previously drug resistant cancer cells. Dr. Serrero commented “Bringing this antibody to the clinic may finally offer additional targeted solution for treating lung cancer and mesothelioma, but GP88 has also been shown to be involved in other cancers such as breast and ovarian cancers. We hope that this “First-in-Human” Clinical Trial using our anti-GP88 will create an opportunity for its use in treating other cancers”. A&G has also developed companion diagnostic products; a tissue test for measuring GP88 presence in tumors and thus identifying patients that will benefit from anti-GP88 therapy and a blood test to monitor GP88 during and post therapy to identify potential disease recurrence. Dr. Serrero is hopeful “these diagnostics can be used in support of other therapies by identifying patients with elevated GP88 that may become resistant to standard drug therapies and thus enable clinicians to adjust patient management accordingly.”

A&G Pharmaceutical Inc., based in Columbia, Maryland, is a privately-owned Research and Development company developing “Theranostic” product pipelines, http://www.agpharma.com. Our wholly owned service division, Precision Antibody (http://www.precisionantibody.com), develops monoclonal antibodies for pharmaceutical and diagnostic industries and is a contractor for US Government Agencies.

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David Hicks
A&G Pharmaceutical Inc
+1 410-884-4100
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