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Convergen LifeSciences, Inc. announced today that another United States Patent 7,977,468 has been awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office jointly to The University of Texas System Board of Regents and The Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The patent is one of 23 patents, pending or issued worldwide, licensed exclusively to Convergen LifeSciences, Inc. The patent covers CNVN202, a targeted molecular cancer therapy undergoing clinical evaluation in lung cancer patients.
The '468 patent is based upon important discoveries made by a team of researchers from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and the National Cancer Institute. The discovery of the 3p21.3 family of tumor suppressor genes has been the subject of more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications demonstrating the genes' ability to control key anti-cancer mechanisms. CNVN202 harnesses TUSC2 (FUS1), the most potent inducer of apoptosis among the family of 3p21.3 cancer suppressor genes.
"The patent further solidifies our growing IP portfolio," stated Greg Heinlein, Chief Operating and Financial Officer, Convergen LifeSciences. "Broadly speaking, this patent expands the application of CNVN202 to virtually all cancers and extends the use of our patented technologies to include cancer diagnostic and screening tools."
Data from a phase I clinical study presented at the 2011 annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research showed for the first time that a tumor suppressor gene can be delivered intravenously and selectively to human cancer cells using a nanoparticle vector, express high levels of mRNA and protein in cancer cells in the primary tumor and distant metastatic sites, alter relevant pathways in the cancer cell and mediate clinically beneficial anti-cancer activity.
A phase II clinical trial is planned to evaluate CNVN202 in combination with Tarceva® (erlotinib) in lung cancer patients who would not be expected to benefit from erlotinib alone. CNVN202 has shown synergy when combined with erlotinib in both EGFR mutation positive and negative cancers.
Tarceva® is a registered trademark of the Roche Group including Genentech and Chugai and Astellas Pharma.
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Convergen LifeSciences, Inc.
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