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GEN News Highlights : Dec 14, 2009

Rexahn to Use TheraTarget Nanodelivery Technology with Its Anticancer Agents

The compounds to be synthesized are composed of chains of polymers to which the drug candidates are attached.

TheraTarget has agreed to synthesize and supply Rexahn with polymer-drug conjugate products, which are part of Rexahn Pharmaceuticals’ polymer-based nanomedicine pipeline. “We believe that combining TheraTarget’s nanotechnology target drug delivery with Rexahn’s existing portfolio of potent anticancer compounds and strong oncology discovery platform may help us develop more effective and less disruptive cancer treatments for patients,” says Chang Ahn, Ph.D., Rexahn’s chairman and CEO.

The class of compounds to be synthesized are composed of chains of polymers to which anticancer drugs are attached. Because of their high molecular weight, the compounds stay active in the bloodstream longer than conventional pharmaceuticals, thereby enhancing dose efficacy, the companies explain.

The agreement includes the exchange of scientific and technological information and technological research materials. Specific collaborative projects now under consideration include the synthesis and characterization of a series of anticancer drug conjugates with and without targeting ligands of selected HPMA co-polymer-drug conjugates and the optimization of HPMA co-polymer-drug conjugates.

Rexahn’s clinical pipeline comprises Archexin™, in Phase II trials for renal cell carcinoma (RCC) and pancreatic cancer. It has FDA orphan drug designations for RCC, glioblastoma, as well as cancers of the ovary, stomach, and pancreas. Serdaxin™ is being developed to treat depression and mood disordersand successfully completed Phase IIa trials for the former indication. Zoraxel™ is a CNS-based sexual dysfunction drug and is in Phase IIa trials for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.