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Panacea Pharmaceuticals Announces Selection of PAN-622 - A Fully Human Sequence Monoclonal Antibody Against HAAH - As Its Lead Cancer Therapeutic Product
Date:12/5/2007

GAITHERSBURG, Md., Dec. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc. announced today the selection of PAN-622 -- a fully human sequence monoclonal antibody against HAAH -- as its lead cancer therapeutic product. Developed in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, PAN-622 has demonstrated high affinity and excellent efficacy in animal models of cancer. Having a fully human sequence, PAN-622 is anticipated to have significantly fewer adverse effects compared to chimeric or humanized monoclonal antibodies. Initial human clinical trials with PAN-622 are anticipated to begin in early 2009.

Human Aspartyl (Asparaginyl) Beta-Hydroxylase (HAAH) is an enzyme that modulates signaling factors such as Notch, and is over-expressed in malignant cells. HAAH is present specifically on the cancer cell surface and on the infiltrating edge of tumors; surface expression of HAAH also makes it accessible to drugs or antibodies that are not capable of crossing cellular membranes. Alterations in cellular function due to its overexpression and translocalization are consistent with the cancer phenotype, and include increased cellular proliferation, motility and invasiveness. When HAAH expression is silenced in cancer cells or its enzymatic activity is neutralized on the cell surface, the cancer cells revert to a normal phenotype. HAAH overexpression and its surface expression has been detected in more than 20 different cancer types and in >99% of all tumor samples tested to date (n > 1000). HAAH is not present in significant amounts in adjacent non- transformed tissue as well as normal tissue (n > 500). Therapeutics directed against HAAH, particularly monoclonal antibodies, are likely to be effective in treating a broad range of cancers with minimal adverse effects.

In vitro, Panacea has shown that monoclonal antibodies against HAAH inhibit cell growth in a dose-dependent fashion, inhibit cell motility more than 6-fold and reduce invasion from 2
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SOURCE Panacea Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
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