Vancouver, BC–(Business Wire)– biOasis Technologies Inc. (TSX.V:BTI) today announced results from two studies designed to assess the therapeutic potential of its Transcend vector in treating metastatic breast cancer. In these studies trastuzumab (tradename Herceptin®), a humanized monoclonal antibody used clinically in the treatment of HER2-positive (“HER2+”) breast cancer, was chemically linked to the Transcend delivery vector. The purpose of these studies was to assess if this conjugate can cross the blood-brain barrier and enter the tissue of the brain. And further, to test the effectiveness of the Transcend-trastuzumab conjugate (known as BT2111) against HER2+ cancer cells, verses trastuzumab on its own.
In the first set of studies conducted for biOasis by the National Research Council of Canada (NRC), the transport of trastuzumab and BT2111 across the blood-brain barrier was compared using real-time fluorescence imaging. The results showed that trastuzumab does not actively enter human brain endothelial cells in vitro. This combined with the observation that trastuzumab does not actively cross the intact blood-brain barrier sufficient enough to reach therapeutic concentrations in animals, indicates that it would be difficult to use it as a therapeutic agent to target brain metastatic tumors. However, in the case of BT2111, there was a marked transport of the drug into human brain endothelial cells in vitro.
In the second set of studies conducted on behalf of the Company by the BC Cancer Research Centre (BCCRC), various breast cancer cell lines were exposed in vitro to increasing doses of trastuzumab alone and to BT2111. In several HER2+ breast cancer cell lines, BT2111 demonstrated a significant improvement in cancer killing activity compared to trastuzumab alone.
“Approximately 30% of breast cancers are HER2+. Although trastuzumab has proven valuable in the treatment and control of systemic disease, clinicians have observed a significant number of women with HER2+ cancer that exhibit central nervous system (“CNS”) metastasis”, said Rob Hutchison, CEO. “This combination of a tumour type that has a high potential for CNS metastases and existing treatment with trastuzumab that unfortunately does not penetrate the CNS, demonstrates the need for a carrier such as Transcend. Based on these initial results of the two recent studies, the Company has commissioned additional studies under the BT2111 program.”
ABOUT THE BLOOD-BRAIN BARRIER
Overcoming the difficulty of delivering therapeutic agents to specific regions of the brain presents a major challenge in the treatment of most brain disorders. In its neuroprotective role, the blood?brain barrier functions to hinder the delivery of many potentially important therapeutic agents to the brain. Therapeutic molecules that might otherwise be effective in the treatment of CNS conditions do not cross the blood-brain barrier in adequate amounts. It is widely reported that over 95% of all Therapeutic molecules do not cross the blood-brain barrier.
biOasis is developing a proprietary carrier for the transport of therapeutic and imaging agents across the blood-brain barrier – Transcend. Current initiatives within the Transcend program include production of materials for preclinical studies and conjugation to a range of small molecule and biologic therapeutics. To address the unmet clinical need to transport drugs across the blood brain barrier biOasis intends to license Transcend to multiple corporate partners.
biOasis Technologies Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company engaged in the development and commercialization of products for the diagnosis and treatment of neurological diseases and disorders. Its products and technologies are intended for use within the healthcare and life science research markets. The Company is currently developing Cognitest(TM), a blood test for the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease. biOasis is also developing Transcend, a proprietary molecular carrier intended to transport drugs across the Blood-Brain Barrier for treatment of a wide range of neurological, oncological and infectious disease applications.
Forward Looking Statements
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On Behalf of the Board of Directors
Chairman & CEO