TUCSON, Ariz., Nov. 4, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Todd D. Camenisch, PhD., associate professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology, and Joyce Schroeder, PhD, professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Arizona Cancer center, were recently awarded a grant from the National Cancer Institute to further develop a drug to treat metastatic breast cancer. This phase 1 STTR award is shared between their biotechnology company, Arizona Cancer Therapeutics, LLC., (ACT), and the Schroeder lab at the University of Arizona. The award, 'Decoy Peptides: Development of a Novel Therapeutic to Metastatic Cancer', will provide for Investigational New Drug studies to be performed which will aid in their application to the FDA for clinical trials. Their drug is based on novel protein interactions that occur only in metastatic cancer and not in normal cells, and promises to be both highly effective and non-toxic.
The STTR program is designed to help early stage biotechnology companies develop promising technology for commercialization and delivery into clinical care. This represents a major milestone for ACT as they pursue development of innovative therapeutics to stop metastatic breast cancer and other types of cancers. Dr. Schroeder's team has been discovering and defining specific causes of breast cancer for two decades and created novel drugs to disrupt these signals. "This represents a major advancement as well as a significant sign of support for our drug technology by the National Cancer Institute," stated Dr. Todd Camenisch, President and CEO of Arizona Cancer Therapeutics. Dr. Schroeder commented, "The entire research team and partnering oncologists are very optimistic about moving our drug forward into clinical trials. In preclinical trials, this drug has shown strong anti-tumor activity and no toxicity." Additional information about Dr. Schroeder's laboratory at the University of Arizona can be found at: www.mcb.arizona.edu/schroeder
About ACT: Arizona Cancer Therapeutics was formed by Dr. Schroeder and Dr. Camenisch, both faculty at the University of Arizona. Dr. Schroeder is the Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of ACT. She has discovered novel peptide therapeutics that disrupt specific signals that drive metastatic cancer. Dr. Schroeder (Arizona Cancer Center and College of Science) and Dr. Todd D. Camenisch (College of Pharmacy) created ACT as a platform biotech company to further develop the 'first in class' patented peptide drugs specific to breast cancer and potentially other types of cancers. Partnering oncologists include Dr. Alison Stopeck at The University of Arizona Cancer Center and Dr. Dave Alberts Director Emeritus of the University of Arizona Cancer Center. ACT LLC., holds several patents with several more provisional patents in process. More information about ACT can be found at: Arizonacancertherapeutics.org
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CONTACT: Sandy Mellorsfmellor@sinfoniahealth.com
Source: Arizona Cancer Therapeutics, LLC