Oryzon and Cancer Research UK’S Paterson Institute for Cancer Research have Started a Collaborative Research Project on Therapeutic LSD1 Inhibitors for Acute Leukemia

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The Cancer Research UK-funded research is led by Dr Tim Somervaille, Group Leader of the Leukaemia Biology group at the Paterson Institute. The collaboration is focused to achieve a deeper understanding of the inhibition of histone lysine demethylation as a stopper mechanism for onset and progression of acute leukaemia. Last May, Oryzon announced the nomination of a preclinical candidate for development that is currently in regulatory safety studies and it is expected to be ready for the first tests in humans in early 2013. LSD1 inhibitors reduced tumour load especially in acute leukaemia models by targeting leukaemia stem cells, while normal myeloid progenitor cells were spared.

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To work with the Paterson Institute is another important achievement in our setting of collaborative networks in the epigenetics field" said Carlos Buesa, CEO of Oryzon

Oryzon announces that Oryzon and Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute for Cancer Research have entered into a collaboration to further study the potential of highly potent and highly-selective Oryzon LSD1 inhibitors in the treatment of acute leukemia. This collaborative research is performed by Dr Tim Somervaille’s group.

Cancer Research UK scientist Dr Tim Somervaille is a specialist in leukaemia and in LSD1. He was trained in Medicine at St Mary’s Hospital Medical School (Imperial College London) and University College London. He specialised in Clinical Haematology at University College London, where he also obtained a PhD as a Medical Research Council Clinical Training Fellow. Later, as a Leukaemia Research Fund Senior Clinical Fellow, he spent four years in Professor Michael Cleary’s laboratory undertaking postdoctoral studies in leukaemia. Currently he is leader of the Cancer Research UK Leukaemia Biology group at Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute for Cancer Research and also Honorary Consultant in Haematology at The Christie NHS Foundation Trust.

Recently, in independent research that was published in Cancer Cell, Dr. Somervaille demonstrated that molecules discovered and patented by Oryzon were efficient in the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), which represents 40% of all leukaemias in humans, and especially an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia called mixed lineage leukaemia (MLL), pointing to a significant potential therapeutic window for the use of LSD1 inhibitors in the MLL molecular subtype of AMLs.

The collaborative program aims to better understand the mechanism by which LSD1 inhibitors are affecting the diverse molecular types of acute leukaemia and other haematological malignancies and to determine in which disease subtypes these drugs could be more effective. Different in vitro and in vivo models will be used to assess the efficacy of various Oryzon advanced LSD1 inhibitors.

Last May, Oryzon announced the nomination of a preclinical candidate for development that is currently in regulatory safety studies and it is expected to be ready for the first tests in humans in early 2013.

The current collaboration agreement contemplates the possibility that The Christie NHS Foundation Trust - a specialist cancer hospital serving the North West of England - be chosen to perform the Phase I/IIA studies planned for next year.

An overview of Oryzon’s LSD1 program will be presented at the 2nd Cancer Epigenetics conference in Nov 08-09, Boston, MA, USA and at the 4th World Epigenetics Summit in Dec, 3rd in London UK.

About Oryzon
Founded in 2000, Oryzon (http://www.oryzon.com) has one of the most complete technological platforms for biomarker identification in Europe. With a strong specialization in genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics, the company identifies biomarkers for a variety of oncologic and neurodegenerative diseases.

The company has a powerful platform for biomarker and target validation which includes technologies such as RNAi, microarrays, phage display and a structural genomic platform with a fragment screening approach (NMR and X ray crystallography). Oryzon develops new drugs and monoclonal antibodies against targets identified in its biomarker discovery programs; but also develops diagnostic products.

Recently, the company announced its decision to enter in preclinical development with its first two drug candidates: a first-in-class bi-specific Lysine Specific Demethylase 1 (LSD1) and Monoamine Oxidase B (MAO-B) inhibitor for the treatment of Huntington disease (HD), a neurodegenerative disorder currently without treatment; and a mono-specific LSD1 inhibitor for the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.

GynEC®-DX is a good example of the Diagnostic activity of the company. This product was discovered after 5 years of intense research. It is a signature of 5 genes differentially expressed that are highly accurate to determine cancer status in uterine aspirates and when combined with pathology on aspirates has a Negative predictive value of 99,6% according to the results obtained in a recent multi-centric double blind prospective study. Commercialization of this product that has been developed jointly with Laboratorio Reig-Jofré has started in July 2012.

Other launches under way
Oryzon entered into a partnership in the field of molecular diagnostics with New Zealand firm Pacific Edge Ltd in 2011. According to the agreement, Oryzon holds an exclusive license to market, in some European countries, the Cxbladder® test, which detects bladder cancer in urine. Oryzon will run the Cxbladder test in its Clinical Analysis Lab, which was authorized by the Catalonian Government last year. “The central lab is the axis and launching platform of our diagnostic and personalized medicine division”, explains Carlos Buesa. “We have shown that our biomarker discovery platform is capable of developing personalized medicine products and bringing them to market. The goal is to become the leader in molecular diagnostics in Spain and to partner our therapeutic programs with specialized pharmaceutical companies.

About Cancer Research UK

  •     Cancer Research UK is the world’s leading cancer charity dedicated to saving lives through research
  •     The charity’s groundbreaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer has helped save millions of lives. This work is funded entirely by the public.
  •     Cancer Research UK has been at the heart of the progress that has already seen survival rates in the UK double in the last forty years.
  •     Cancer Research UK supports research into all aspects of cancer through the work of over 4,000 scientists, doctors and nurses.
  •     Together with its partners and supporters, Cancer Research UK's vision is to beat cancer.

For further information about Cancer Research UK's work or to find out how to support the charity, please call 0300 123 1861 or visit http://www.cancerresearchuk.org. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook

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