Azixa Shows Dual Activity as Vascular Disrupting Agent and Tubulin Inhibitor
SALT LAKE CITY, UT, April 17, 2007—Myriad Genetics, Inc. (NASDAQ: MYGN) (www.myriad.com) announced today that it presented studies that characterize the mode of action of its investigational new drug, Azixa™, as a vascular disrupting agent, at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) in Los Angeles, California.
Azixa has been previously shown to be an inducer of apoptosis, and a potent inhibitor of human tumor cell growth and survival in cell culture, regardless of the multiple drug resistance (MDR) stature of the tumors. Key to this activity is its ability to inhibit the formation of microtubules. Data on Azixa's activity against human cancers of the breast, ovary, prostate, colon and pancreas will be presented at ASCO, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, later this year. Recently, Myriad researchers have uncovered a second mode of action known as vascular disruption.
Vascular disrupting agents target a tumor's endothelium, the inner layer of cells lining a blood vessel, which leads to a loss of blood supply to the tumor and subsequent tumor cell death. In recent studies, Azixa induced cell death in several primary types of endothelium, including micro-vessel endothelial cells. Moreover, in human ovarian cancer xenografts, a single dose of Azixa induced dramatic tumor blood vessel damage and tumor cell death within 24 hours.
"We are excited by the potential of Azixa in several different types of cancer," said Adrian Hobden, Ph.D., President of Myriad Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "Azixa's dual mode of action and its extraordinary ability to cross the blood-brain barrier may allow it to be a more effective chemotherapeutic than anything available to treat brain cancer today."
Azixa's dual mode of action i s essential to its ability to inhibit tumor growth. It is believed that Azixa selectively disrupts tumor vasculature by inhibiting the formation of microtubules. Tumors rely on microtubules to maintain the cytoskeletal structure of their new vasculature, whereas mature vascular endothelium of healthy tissue uses actin filaments to provide the needed structure. Therefore, tumor vasculature is selectively targeted, leaving healthy normal tissue unaffected.
Azixa is currently being evaluated in two Phase 2 human clinical trials, one in patients with primary brain cancer and the other in melanoma that has spread to the brain.
Azixa is a trademark of Myriad Genetics, Inc. in the U.S. and other countries.
Myriad Genetics, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel healthcare products. The Company develops and markets predictive medicine products, and is developing and intends to market therapeutic products. Myriad's news and other information are available on the Company's Web site at www.myriad.com.
This press release contains "forward-looking statements" within
the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of
1995. These forward-looking statements include statements relating
the potential for Azixa to treat cancer of several different types.
These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, our
inability to further identify, develop and achieve commercial
success for new products and technologies; our ability to discover
drugs that are safer and more efficacious than our competitors; our
ability to develop molecular diagnostic products that help assess
which patients are subject to greater risk of developing diseases
and who would therefore benefit from new preventive therapies; the
possibility of delays in the research and development necessary to
select drug development candidates and delays in clinical trials;
the risk that clinica
l trials may not result in marketable
products; the risk that we may be unable to successfully finance
and secure regulatory approval of and market our drug candidates,
or that clinical trials will be completed on the timelines we have
estimated; uncertainties about our ability to obtain new corporate
collaborations and acquire new technologies on satisfactory terms,
if at all; the development of competing products and services; our
ability to protect our proprietary technologies;
patent-infringement claims; risks of new, changing and competitive
technologies and regulations in the United States and
internationally; and other factors discussed under the heading
"Risk Factors" contained in Item 1A in our Annual Report on Form
10-K for the year ended June 30, 2006, which has been filed with
the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as any updates to
those risk factors filed from time to time in our Quarterly Reports
on Form 10-Q or Current Reports on Form 8-K. All information in
this press release is as of the date of the release, and Myriad
undertakes no duty to update this information unless required by