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