MENLO PARK, CA (December 19, 2011) -- NewGen Therapeutics, Inc. today announced the acquisition of three novel oncology development programs from Kanion USA, Inc. (Hayward, CA) and Kanion Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. (Lianyungang, China).
Under an agreement between the companies, NewGen has received exclusive global rights, excluding China, for the development, manufacture and commercialization of three separate small molecule therapeutic programs targeting pan-erbB, EGFR/Her-2, and PARP, respectively. NewGen intends to continue pre-clinical development of the oral lead molecules currently identified within each program, and seek partners for their clinical development and marketing. In return, Kanion Pharmaceutical has taken a minority equity position in privately financed NewGen, and will continue development of the compounds for China markets. The two companies also plan to share data on the compounds' development. Further financial details were not disclosed.
"Targeted therapeutics should result in higher response rates, more efficient drug development, and an increased likelihood of clinical success," said Harry Pedersen, NewGen Therapeutics President and Chief Executive Officer. "Acquiring the rights to these late pre-clinical programs gives NewGen a strong pipeline and multiple partnering opportunities with molecules that can help advance our mission to make a difference in the treatment of cancer."
The three oncology programs acquired by NewGen Therapeutics include:
· Pan-ErbB inhibitor: NewGen's pan-ErbB inhibitor lead compound (NT-113) is an investigational, orally active, irreversible inhibitor of ErbB1 (EGFR), ErbB2 (Her-2) and the ErbB4 (Her-4). Compounds identified in this program permanently inactivate the ErbB kinases to affect downstream signal transduction events and cell cycle pathways such as cell division, ultimately resulting in decreased cell proliferation.
· EGFR/Her-2 Dual Inhibitor: NewGen's ERFR/Her-2 dual inhibitor lead compound (NT-004) is an investigational, orally active inhibitor of ErbB1 (EGFR) and ErbB2 (Her-2). The EGFR and Her-2 receptors are both involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis (programmed cell death). Their inhibition may play a critical role in the prevention of tumor growth and metasteses. Overexpression of EGFR and Her-2 is associated with poor prognosis and advanced-stage cancers.
· PARP Inhibitor: NewGen's PARP [poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase] inhibitor lead compound (NT-125) is an investigational, orally active inhibitor of PARP, a DNA nick-sensor that signals the presence of DNA damage and facilitates DNA repair. PARP has been gaining significant interest as a therapeutic target for cancer, as investigators have reported impressive phase 2 clinical efficacy in BRCA-positive breast and ovarian cancer patients treated with PARP inhibitors. Inhibition of PARP increases the activity of DNA damaging agents including alkylators, platinums, topoisomerase inhibitors and radiation by inhibiting DNA repair. In addition, tumors with DNA repair defects, such as those arising from BRCA and PTEN mutations, appear to be very sensitive to single agent PARP inhibition. Many tumors have defects in DNA repair pathways. Mutations in the BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes have been demonstrated to be synthetic lethal in tumor models and in patients. Tumor cells with BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutations have a deficiency in the repair of DNA double strand breaks (DSBs) by the homologous recombination (HR) pathway.
About Kanion USA and Kanion Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd.
Kanion USA, located in Hayward, California, is engaged in the discovery and pre-clinical development of novel small molecules across a variety of indications. Kanion Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., located in Lianyungang, China, is engaged in the research, development, manufacture and distribution of pharmaceuticals. The Company manufactures capsules, oral liquid, granules, tablets and injectables.
NewGen Therapeutics is a privately held pharmaceutical company developing patient-targeted cancer drugs that are designed to overcome limitations of currently available therapies. The company's pipeline includes multiple programs with novel small molecule drug leads against clinically important targets, each addressed to significant medical needs. NewGen's strategy is to identify and in-license promising programs, add value through further development and then partner with pharmaceutical companies for clinical development and commercialization. For more information, please visit our website at http://www.newgenther.com.
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