Abraxis BioScience, Inc. has announced an agreement with the Buck Institute for Age Research that provides Abraxis with the exclusive worldwide intellectual property rights for technologies designed to generate therapeutics and identify new drug discovery targets. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Included in the licensed technologies are a immunotherapeutic/ anti-cancer compound (T9) and highly sensitive cell-based assay systems for the discovery of additional immune-modulating drugs. T9 is a potent bi-functional molecule with the ability to kill cancer cells and to activate the immune response to recognize cancer cells in a manner analogous to childhood vaccination.
"These proprietary cell-based assay systems are a natural fit for our proprietary nab™ (nanoparticle albumin bound) technology platform and our proprietary natural product and synthetic drug discovery efforts," said Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D., chairman and chief executive officer of Abraxis.
"In this new era of personalized medicine, we believe this program will generate a novel pipeline of drugs for Abraxis that provide the promise of cancer treatments with greater efficacy and fewer side effects."
This licensing agreement also includes a discovery platform designed to discover new chemical entities that remediate the signaling activities of the tumor suppressor p53 in p53-dysfunctional cancer cells. Loss of p53 activity is associated with one-half of all human tumors, often rendering these cancer cells resistant to conventional therapies.
The licensed technologies have made the discovery of reactivators of appropriate p53 signaling behavior possible. Inherent in the design of this technology is a strategy to develop therapeutics that selectively stimulate programmed cell death in p53-dysfunctional cancer cells and that would leave healthy cells expressing normal p53 unaffected.
As part of this agreement, Abraxis will have in-licensed all leading drug candidates discovered by Buck using these technologies, including the nab candidate compound G6.
"This agreement is in line with the national trend toward facilitating the translation of basic research for clinical benefit," said Dale E. Bredesen, M.D., chief executive officer and director of Buck Institute for Age Research. "Abraxis has an outstanding track record of recognizing and developing such basic research. I can't think of a better group, or company, to develop these discoveries as potentially new therapeutics."
"As inventors of these technologies, Dr. Kayvan Niazi and I are extremely excited to be able to further develop and maximize the potential of these technologies to the point where tangible applications to medicine are achieved as rapidly as possible," said Shahrooz Rabizadeh, Ph.D., director of Molecular Drug Discovery, Abraxis.
This agreement with the Buck Institute is part of an ongoing execution of the Abraxis strategy to work closely with scientists to discover new chemical entities and to maximize the opportunity to utilize its nab technology and the gp60 receptor -mediated cell signal transduction pathway to drive active agents from the bloodstream across the endothelial cell barrier to the underlying interstitium and intracellular space.