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Abraxis BioScience, Inc. (NASDAQ:ABBI), an integrated, global biopharmaceutical company, today announced an agreement with the Buck Institute for Age Research that provides Abraxis with the exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights for technologies designed to generate novel therapeutics and identify new drug discovery targets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Included in the licensed technologies are a novel immunotherapeutic/ anti-cancer compound (T9) and highly sensitive cell-based assay systems for the discovery of additional immune-modulating drugs. T9 is a highly potent bi-functional molecule with the ability to kill cancer cells and to activate the immune response to recognize cancer cells in a manner analogous to childhood vaccination.
"These proprietary cell-based assay systems are a natural fit for our proprietary nab™ (nanoparticle albumin bound) technology platform and our proprietary natural product and synthetic drug discovery efforts," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Abraxis. "In this new era of personalized medicine, we believe this program will generate a novel pipeline of drugs for Abraxis that provide the promise of cancer treatments with greater efficacy and fewer side effects."
This licensing agreement also includes a proprietary discovery platform designed to discover new chemical entities that remediate the signaling activities of the tumor suppressor p53 in p53-dysfunctional cancer cells. Loss of p53 activity is associated with one-half of all human tumors, often rendering these cancer cells resistant to conventional therapies. The licensed technologies have made the discovery of reactivators of appropriate p53 signaling behavior possible. Inherent in the design of this proprietary technology is a strategy to develop therapeutics that selectively stimulate programmed cell death in p53-dysfunctional cancer cells and that would leave healthy cells expressing normal p53 unaffected. As part of this agreement, Abraxis will have in-licensed all leading drug candidates discovered by Buck using these technologies, including the nab candidate compound G6.
"This agreement is in line with the national trend toward facilitating the translation of basic research for clinical benefit," said Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., chief executive officer and director of Buck Institute for Age Research. "Abraxis has an outstanding track record of recognizing and developing such basic research. I can't think of a better group, or company, to develop these discoveries as potentially new therapeutics."
"As inventors of these technologies, Dr. Kayvan Niazi and I are extremely excited to be able to further develop and maximize the potential of these technologies to the point where tangible applications to medicine are achieved as rapidly as possible," said Shahrooz Rabizadeh, Ph.D., director of Molecular Drug Discovery, Abraxis.
This agreement with the Buck Institute is part of an ongoing execution of the Abraxis strategy to work closely with innovative, cutting edge scientists to discover new chemical entities and to maximize the opportunity to utilize its nab technology and the gp60 receptor -mediated cell signal transduction pathway to drive active agents from the bloodstream across the endothelial cell barrier to the underlying interstitium and intracellular space. Over the past 12 months, Abraxis has completed strategic alliances or licensing arrangements with the California NanoSystems Institute at UCLA, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, University of British Columbia, University of Maryland, John Wayne Cancer Institute, University of Southern California and Biocon Limited.
About the Buck Institute for Age Research
The Buck Institute for Age Research, located in Novato, CA, is an independent non-profit organization dedicated to extending the healthspan, the healthy years of each individual's life. The National Institute on Aging designated the Buck a Nathan Shock Center of Excellence in the Biology of Aging, one of just five centers in the country. Buck Institute scientists work in an innovative, collaborative setting to understand the mechanisms of aging and to discover new ways of detecting, preventing and treating age-related diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, cancer, stroke, and arthritis. Interdisciplinary research at the Institute is supported by genomics, proteomics and bioinformatics technology. For more information: http://www.buckinstitute.org .
About Abraxis BioScience, Inc.
Abraxis BioScience, Inc. is an integrated global biopharmaceutical company dedicated to meeting the needs of critically ill patients. The company develops, manufactures and markets one of the broadest portfolios of injectable products and leverages revolutionary technology such as its nab™ platform to discover and deliver breakthrough therapeutics that transform the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening diseases. The first FDA approved product to use this nab platform, ABRAXANE®, was launched in 2005 for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Abraxis trades on the Nasdaq Global Market under the symbol ABBI. For more information about the company and its products, please visit http://www.abraxisbio.com .
The statements contained in this press release that are not purely historical are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Forward-looking statements in this press release include statements regarding our expectations, beliefs, hopes, goals, intentions, initiatives or strategies, including statements regarding the development of the licensed intellectual property rights. Because these forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, there are important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements. The development of the licensed intellectual property portfolio could be affected by a number of factors, including unexpected safety, efficacy or manufacturing issues, additional time requirements for data analyses and decision making, the impact of pharmaceutical industry regulation, the impact of competitive products and pricing and the impact of patents and other proprietary rights held by competitors and other third parties. Additional relevant information concerning risks can be found in Abraxis BioScience's Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006 and other documents it has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The information contained in this press release is as of the date of this release. Abraxis assumes no obligations to update any forward-looking statements contained in this press release as the result of new information or future events or developments.
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