TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 1, 2012) - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX:LOR) ("Lorus"), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the discovery, research and development of pharmaceutical products and technologies for the management of cancer, announced today that it has entered into a global license with Genentech, a member of the Roche Group (OTCQX:RHHBY)(SIX:RO)(SIX:ROG), in respect of certain patents owned by Genentech for IL-17E. Detailed financial terms were not disclosed.
"We are excited about obtaining this license from Genentech, which will enable Lorus to develop this program as a novel and exciting treatment for a large number of cancers. Lorus scientists were the first to discover the anticancer properties of IL-17E and we have patents pending for the use of IL-17E in cancer in the major world markets. IL-17E represents a unique immunotherapeutic approach to the treatment of some of the most important cancers, and preclinical data to date shows excellent efficacy with low toxicity; properties that we plan to demonstrate in the clinic in the near future" said Dr Aiping Young, President and CEO of Lorus.
IL-17E (also known as IL-25) is a recently identified cytokine that plays an important role in inflammation. Lorus has discovered that human IL-17E has potent anticancer properties against a range of solid tumors, including human melanoma, pancreatic, colon, lung, ovarian and breast tumor models with very low toxicity. IL-17E is highly potent and does not require further modification or optimization before proceeding to the formal IND-enabling preclinical studies planned to support advancing to a Phase I clinical trial. Lorus has selected pancreatic cancer and malignant melanoma as the initial lead cancer indications for this agent. An estimated 43,920 new cases of pancreatic cancer will be diagnosed in the US this year and 37,390 Americans will to succumb to the disease, making it the fourth most common cause of cancer deaths in the US. Pancreatic cancer is a difficult-to-treat tumor type with an overall five-year survival rate of 4%, the lowest for any cancer. Melanoma is the fifth most common cancer in the US with an estimated 76,250 new cases expected to being diagnosed this year. Approximately 9,180 Americans are expected to die from malignant melanoma in 2012.
Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery, research and development of novel therapeutics in cancer. Lorus' goal is to capitalize on its research, preclinical, clinical and regulatory expertise by developing new drug candidates that can be used, either alone, or in combination with other drugs, to successfully manage cancer. The Company also has expertise in antimicrobial drug discovery. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. is listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol LOR.
Forward Looking Statements
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