In initial studies, ZIOPHARM will leverage Intrexon'stechnology">UltraVector® platform to design and optimize therapeutic gene expression in MLCs to mediate an anti-cancer effect against lung cancer. Intrexon's RTS® platform will also be utilized for inducible control over the amount and timing of therapeutic gene expression providing precise regulation for MLC delivered therapies.
Jonathan Lewis, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of ZIOPHARM Oncology, Inc. said, "The ability of Intrexon's RTS® platform to induce and regulate expression of anti-cancer effectors through dosing with an activator has been demonstrated in current Phase 2 studies for the treatment of advanced melanoma and breast cancer1. By integrating Mesoblast's MLC platform into our therapeutic complex transgene research and development program, we hope to target advanced non-small-cell lung cancer and advance a new field of cell-based therapies."
"Lung cancer represents a significant unmet medical need," said Samuel Broder, M.D., Senior Vice President of Intrexon's Health sector and former Director of the National Cancer Institute. "The co-development of complex RTS® regulated transgenes and cell-based therapy into a novel treatment means lung cancer cells could be attacked simultaneously in two dimensions. The first is through the delivery of the modified MLCs to the lung tissue. The second is through Intrexon's proven RheoSwitch® technologies in which therapeutic transgenes are expressed under the control of a small molecule activator, permitting MLCs to deliver antitumor proteins to sites where they are needed. Delivery plus expression and regulation should prove to be powerful combination."
According to the United States National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that 228,190 patients will be diagnosed with lung cancer, and nearly 160,000 patients will die of this disease in 2013. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women in the United States. Lung cancer causes more cancer-related deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast and prostate).
About Mesoblast Limited
Mesoblast Limited (ASX:MSB) (USOTC:MBLTY) is a world leader in the development of biologic products for the broad field of regenerative medicine. The Company's proprietary technologies include its Mesenchymal Precursor Cell and culture-expanded Mesenchymal Stem Cell technology platforms, Dental Pulp Stem Cells, and expanded Hematopoietic Stem Cells. Mesoblast's allogeneic or 'off-the-shelf' regenerative medicine products focus on repair of damaged tissues and modulation of inflammatory responses in conditions with significant unmet medical needs. The lead product candidates use its mesenchymal lineage cells in four major and distinct areas - systemic inflammatory conditions, cardiovascular diseases, orthopedic diseases of the spine, and oncology conditions. www.mesoblast.com