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Cytotech Labs Unravels Hallmark Insight Into Metabolic Control of Cancer, Presents Work at Major AACR Cancer Meeting
Date:4/4/2011

ORLANDO, Fla., April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Cytotech Labs, a Boston based pharmaceutical company and member of the Berg Pharma, Inc. group along with Berg Biosystems and Berg Diagnostics today presented groundbreaking insight into seminal work performed by Nobel Laureate, Otto Warburg.  The Warburg Hypothesis asserts that increased utilization of anaerobic respiration and production of lactate is negotiated by cancer cells in return for evasion of apoptosis, programmed cell death and other key characteristics of a healthy cell such as normally functioning mitochondria, the cell's energy and metabolic headquarters.  This area of research has become of intense importance to medical research in the past decade for many disease states.

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The use of the Berg Biosystems Interrogative Biology™ discovery platform was a vital asset in enabling the biological intelligence necessary to demonstrate that the molecule ubidecarenone, a coenzyme that shuttles electrons though mitochondria was depleted in cancer cells but strikingly created a shift from dependency of lactate production to create a "breach of contract" between the cancer cell and its preferred metabolic environment.  Dr. Ralph Weichselbaum, D.K. Ludwig Professor and Chairman of Radiation and Cellular Oncology at the University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine commented, "I have been very intrigued and highly impressed with Cytotech's innovation and overall approach using the Berg systems biology platform to develop a whole a new avenue of therapeutic drug discovery."

Original discoverer, Niven R. Narain, now President and CTO of Berg Biosystems in Boston, founding CTO of Cytotech Labs, and former Director of Cutaneous Oncology Research at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, where the seminal research on cancer began stated, "It is humbling to carry on the work of such a great scholar as Otto Warburg to unravel a mechanism that has escaped us all for so long, using a systems approach allowed us to appreciate the pressure points in cancer cell metabolism.  The physiologic understanding in bioenergetic alterations that govern gene regulation opens up new pathways into other disease states such as heart disease, diabetes, and Alzheimer's."

Cytotech Labs is more advanced in clinical development than any company focused on cancer metabolism with late stage trials using a topical form of API 31510 on skin cancer and an on-going Phase I dose escalating, safety and tolerability trial using a nanodispersion intravenous form of API 31510 for potential use in advanced solid tumors.  Paul Y. Song, Cytotech President and CMO stated, "As a practicing oncologist who lost his father to cancer, it was painfully clear that oncology is in dire need of a new treatment paradigm. I am tremendously excited about our company's innovation and conscious decision to think outside the box to develop a novel therapeutic frontier."

Cytotech maintains its research and collaborative relationships with the University of Miami Miller School dating back to license of the technology from the Department of Dermatology & Cutaneous Surgery led by Dr. Lawrence A. Schachner, Chairman and Harvey Blank Professor.  Mitch Gray, President and CEO of Pathfinder Management, Inc., the private equity management firm commented, "We recognized the importance of academia-industry collaboration and have created a model to succeed on the combined merits of the unified end-point of patient care." Gray is the visionary that originally met with Narain and his late mentor and colleague Prof. Emeritus Sung L. Hsia.  "To develop a university-based discovery into a full-fledged clinical program in a few years is phenomenal," Gray further commented.  

Current relationships include Research Associate Professor of Dermatology and Cutaneous Surgery Dr. Joaquin J. Jimenez, a renowned expert in oncology animal modeling and chemotoxicity and Associate Dean for International Medicine and Professor of Medicine, Dr. Eduardo De Marchena who is directing Cytotech's initiative to perform international clinical trials for its lead cancer compound API 31510 through the UM International Medicine Institute.

About Cytotech Labs

Cytotech Labs is a discovery driven pharmaceutical company based in Boston, MA with specific focus on alterations in metabolism as it relates to disease onset. Notable focus areas are cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. The company has a deep pipeline of early-stage technologies that complement its late-stage clinical trial activity in cancer. Armed with use of a novel discovery platform licensed from Berg Biosystems that translates biological output into viable therapeutics and a robust biomarker library, Cytotech is poised to forge its pursuit of a healthier tomorrow.

About Berg Biosystems

Berg Biosystems is a Boston, Massachusetts based company that employs a novel approach to systems biology and utilizes systems engineering and bioinformatic modules to cross-validate biological output. The Berg Interrogative Biology™ Drug Discovery Platform allows for rapid and precise identification of therapeutic and biomarker candidates for drug discovery and development. The company uses network biology templates to mine disease pathophysiology.

About University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

  • The University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine, founded in 1952, was the first medical school in the state of Florida. The Miller School of Medicine is located on the 100-acre University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Medical Center complex in Miami. The medical center includes three University-owned hospitals that make up the University of Miami Health System (UHealth): University of Miami Hospital, Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center and Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. Our three primary affiliated hospitals on the campus include Jackson Memorial Hospital, Holtz Children's Hospital and the Miami VA Medical Center. Miller School faculty members conduct more than 1,700 research projects in basic science and clinical care in facilities totaling more than 500,000 square feet of research space. Along with the M.D. degree, the school offers two specialized B.S./M.D. programs, a combined M.D./Ph.D. program, graduate degrees in nine areas, postdoctoral programs and continuing medical education courses.  


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