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Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research and Polaris Group Form Collaboration to Expand Development of Polaris' Novel Cancer Drug, ADI-PEG 20
Date:5/18/2011

NEW YORK and SAN DIEGO, May 18, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research LTD (LICR) and Polaris Group (Polaris) today announced the formation of a collaboration to expand development of Polaris' novel cancer drug, pegylated arginine deiminase (ADI-PEG 20). ADI-PEG 20 kills tumor cells by depletion of the amino acid arginine.

As part of the collaboration, LICR and Polaris will explore further the potential of ADI-PEG 20 as a cancer therapy and aim to identify other amino acid-degrading enzymes with anti-tumor activity.  The collaboration builds on an existing relationship under which LICR and Polaris have studied ADI-PEG 20 in melanoma and are currently conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial in small cell lung cancer (SCLC) that was initiated in December 2010.  LICR is the sponsor of the SCLC clinical trial, and LICR and Polaris are sharing expenses and resources to conduct this trial.

"We are delighted to have this agreement with Polaris," said Andrew Simpson, Ph.D., Scientific Director of LICR. "This collaboration builds on the work of Lloyd Old, M.D. of LICR and his seminal work on amino acid-degrading enzymes, including asparaginase and arginine deiminase, as anti-cancer treatments. We look forward to continuing our close working relationship with Polaris."

Bor-Wen Wu, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Polaris, said, "This agreement is the fruit of many years of collaboration between LICR and Polaris, and is an opportunity to leverage the strengths of both organizations to attempt to bring ADI-PEG 20 to patients. In particular, I would like to thank Dr. Old for his vision, guidance and dedication to this project, and to his mentoring as we have moved ADI-PEG 20 from pre-clinical studies into human clinical trials."

Dr. Old commented: "The actions of antibodies and enzymes are remarkable for their high degree of specificity, and it is this property that makes them so attractive as potential anti-cancer agents
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