Introgen Therapeutics obtained a worldwide, exclusive license to a family of patent applications regarding a combination therapy using Advexin® with inhibitors of epidermal growth factor receptors (EGFr). The family of patents was licensed from The University of Texas System M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
Advexin is Introgen’s p53 tumor suppressor therapy for potential use in head and neck cancer. The company plans to use it in combination with such drugs like Erbitux™ (ImClone Systems), Vectibix™ (Amgen), Tarceva™ (OSI Pharmaceuticals), and Iressa™ (AstraZeneca).
"The regulatory implications of the combination of Advexin and EGFr inhibitors are significant," points out Max W. Talbott, Ph.D., Introgen's senior vp of worldwide commercial development. "In discussions with regulatory authorities, due to the unique efficacy mechanism of Advexin and its minimal toxicity, we have been encouraged to consider development of combination therapeutic approaches utilizing Advexin and the inhibitors."
This technology is based on the discovery by scientists at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center that p53 and mda7 therapies can work synergistically with EGFr inhibitors to arrest tumor growth. Introgen reports that preclinical studies have shown that this double-barrel therapeutic approach results in an unexpectedly greater level of cancer cell death than when either therapy is used alone.
"The results of our preclinical work, coupled with the recent agreement with M. D. Anderson Cancer Center for the EGFr technology, should have a positive impact on Advexin and follow-on product development plans both in the United States as well as in the rest of the world," adds Dr. Talbott.