Clavis Pharma receives government grant to develop hENT1 biomarker assay for targeted therapy of AML patients

Award of up to NOK 14 million to develop a companion diagnostic that can help preselect AML patients who would benefit most from Clavis Pharma's novel cancer drug elacytarabine.

Oslo, Norway, 30 May 2011

Clavis Pharma ASA (OSE: CLAVIS), the Norwegian cancer drug development company, is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a grant from The Research Council of Norway of up to NOK 14 mill (USD 2.5 mill) for the development of a flow cytometry method for the detection and quantification of human Equilibrative Nucleoside Transporter (hENT1) in patients suffering from Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML). The objective of the research is to develop an analytical method that will enable the selection of the sub-population of AML patients who are likely to benefit most from treatment with Clavis Pharma's novel anti-cancer drug elacytarabine.

The hENT1 flow cytometry project will be a collaborative effort between scientists at Clavis Pharma and international experts in the field of cancer diagnostics.

Olav Hellebø, Clavis Pharma CEO, commented: "We are very pleased that the Research Council has recognised the importance of the development of companion diagnostics and biomarkers in cancer therapies.  This grant will help us complete the final phase of our biomarker development programme".

The grant has been awarded through the BIA program that funds research-based innovation projects independent of the industrial from which they come. This broad program supports high-quality R&D projects which could deliver good business and socio-economic benefits. The grant will cover up to 35% of the total project cost and the allocation is subject to final negotiations with the Council.