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Proacta Incorporated and Yakult Honsha Announce Expansion of Their Collaborative Research, Development and Commercialization Agreement

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Proacta Incorporated and Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd. (Tokyo: 2267) today announced the expansion of their Collaborative Research, Development and Commercialization Agreement to also include Proacta's PR610 compound, a hypoxia-activated pro-drug for the treatment of cancer.  Based on compelling pre-clinical data on PR610, the parties agreed to expand their existing collaboration to include PR610.  The initial agreement, signed in February 2011, for Proacta's hypoxia-activated pro-drug, PR509, granted Yakult research, development and commercialization rights to PR509 in Japan.



"Based on recent pre-clinical study results, we believe that PR610 could perform very well in the clinic," said John C. Gutheil, MD, Proacta's CEO. "We have developed a strong relationship with Yakult in the short time that we have been working together. We are delighted that Yakult is interested in PR610 and that they share our optimism regarding the potential of this molecule."

Mr. Shigeyoshi Sakamoto, Head, Pharmaceutical Division/ Managing Executive Officer, Member of the Board of Yakult, said, "We are pleased to have the opportunity to expand our collaborative research, development, and commercialization agreement with Proacta to include PR610. This molecule has shown unique promise and provides Yakult with an option on two promising molecules within Proacta's hypoxia-activated irreversible multi-kinase inhibitors portfolio for the treatment of cancer. We look forward to the continued progress and advancement of the program so that we can more quickly bring promising new treatments to patients suffering from cancer."

About PR509 and PR610

PR509 and PR610 are Proacta's proprietary hypoxia-activated irreversible multi-kinase inhibitors discovered at the Auckland Cancer Society Research Centre, University of Auckland, New Zealand.  Reversible multi-kinase inhibitors (MKI) are currently in use for the treatment of several types of cancer.  However, resistance often develops to reversible MKI's.  In addition, reversible MKI's have side effects that limit their use at higher doses.  Both PR509 and PR610 utilize an irreversible MKI that is activated only in areas of severe hypoxia, a characteristic of most solid tumors.  Localized release of the irreversible MKI leads to higher concentrations in the tumor relative to normal tissues, which should result in improved efficacy and fewer side effects.  In addition, irreversible MKI inhibitors are not effected by some of the resistance mechanisms that limit use of reversible MKI inhibitors.

Clinical Development Status

PR509 and PR610 are currently targeted for development in non-small cell lung cancer resistant to reversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors such as erlotinib and /or gefitinib, where an effective treatment has yet to be established.  In addition to NSCLC, Proacta expects to evaluate the molecules in other cancers such as gastric, breast, and pancreatic that are currently treated with first-generation reversible tyrosine kinase inhibitors.

About Proacta Incorporated

Proacta is a San Diego based biotechnology company dedicated to the development and commercialization of hypoxia-activated oncology drugs. Proacta is currently conducting a phase II study of PR104, a hypoxia activated alkylator, in patients with relapsed or refractory leukemia.  In addition, Proacta has a pipeline of hypoxia-activated prodrugs for the treatment of cancer that are licensed from the University of Auckland in New Zealand.  For more information on Proacta, visit the Proacta web site at

About Yakult

Yakult is a leading Japanese company focused on the development and marketing of pharmaceuticals, foods, beverages, and cosmetics. With respect to its pharmaceutical business, Yakult has an emerging presence in oncology. For more information on Yakult, visit: or view the following company profile:

SOURCE Proacta Incorporated; Yakult Honsha Co., Ltd.
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