We cannot expect our technology to work with every potential partner's therapeutic target, so our goal is to bring a number of collaborators to the table. The interest we are getting from within the industry remains very positive.
In dealing with the current collaborations underway, I wish I could share the details; however, we are bound by confidentiality agreements to protect both our collaboration partners and us. To preserve scientific rigor in some cases we are "blinded" to the nature of our partner's therapeutic agent so we will not know the outcome of the project until everything is complete. What I can tell you is that all of our collaborations are progressing and the results we've obtained to date have met our expectations. As well, our science and business teams at biOasis hold regular meetings with collaboration partners to discuss the progress of the research and exchange ideas. Each of our current collaboration partners are large organizations, expending significant capital and internal resources to assess our Technology for their needs. To us this highlights the potential value Transcend may have to these organizations.
As part of our evaluation of the potential of the Transcend technology, we ran an internal selection process to look at existing therapeutic compounds that were known not to cross the blood-brain barrier on their own. If we could demonstrate that our technology could get any one of these candidates across the BBB this would address a very large unmet medical need and therefore potentially be of interest to the owners of those compounds.
Once identified, we prioritized the list based on market size, cost to develop, likelihood of short to mid term milestone achievement and overall risk. This enabled us to target the companies we chose to collaborate with on our Transcend technology and to the collaborations listed above. In addition it allowed us to decide which programs we would advance further internally and for our own account.
The main program we are pursuing internally is called BT2111; where we have linked Transcend with trastuzumab (Herceptin)(i). The results on this program to date have been very encouraging. The current market for Herceptin is greater than 5.9 billion dollars annually.
(i) Herceptin is a registered trademark of Roche/Genentech
Highlights of the BT2111 Studies:
-- The BC Cancer Research Centre showed in a human HER2+ breast carcinoma model, that BT2111 had an increased cancer killing effect over Herceptin on its own. BT2111 under their test, killed more cancer cells outside of the blood-brain barrier than the drug itself. This was a surprising and very positive development.-- Texas Technical University, after a great deal of testing, came out with, in our opinion, a remarkable set of results.
It is worth some background about this study to help put it in context;
-- There were three groups of subject animals used; a control group that received normal saline, a group that was dosed with Herceptin alone, and a group that received BT2111 - all dosed intravenously.-- After a lot of prep work, all the animals were injected into the left ventricle of their heart with a "human" HER2+ cancer cell line. Twenty- one days later all the animals had on average approximated 90 brain tumors, and the therapeutic injections began.-- Each animal received two injections per week between day 21 thru day 35, meaning they received only 4 injections each. At day 35 all the animals where euthanized and the brains where then sectioned and sliced. The slices where then prepared and analyzed under a microscope.-- In a matter of two weeks with 4 injections, they found that the BT2111 group had 68% fewer tumors than both the two other groups.-- In addition, the tumors that remained were 58% smaller in size versus the other two groups.