ARIUS Research Inc. has announced that the lead drug candidate from its CD44 Cancer Stem Cell program has successfully completed its first toxicology study and has shown good efficacy in animal models.
ARIUS' program targets a novel epitope of CD44 that has been found in a number of cancer indications including breast, colon, and prostate cancers. Two humanized versions of the CD44 targeting antibody have been generated in preparation for the initiation of human clinical trials in 2008.
"To be effective against cancer, a treatment must eliminate the cancer stems cells that at the heart of the disease that are driving tumor growth and seeding new tumors," said Dr. David Young, President and CEO.
"Our CD44 targeting antibody is one of the most advanced drug candidates to target cancer stem cells. CD44 is considered an especially attractive target for anti-tumor drug discovery and development because it has been identified as a cancer stem cell marker in breast, prostate and colon cancers. Having now successfully completed our initial CD44 toxicology study, we look forward to moving our CD44 antibody toward human clinical trials in 2008."