A&G Pharmaceutical Awarded Phase II SBIR Grant for Development of GP88 Drug Candidate Targeted to Breast Cancer
COLUMBIA, Md., September 28, 2010— A&G Pharmaceutical announced today that it has received $1.2 million in Phase II Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) for the program, "Novel Targeted Therapy for Breast Cancer," focused on the development of a neutralizing therapeutic antibody against a novel cancer-associated protein, GP88.
GP88 is a glycoprotein that plays a critical role in the development of human cancers, including breast and lung cancer. Overexpression of GP88 has been shown to be associated with cancer cell growth, survival, metastasis, and chemoresistance. The SBIR grant will support the humanization of the neutralizing antibody and ongoing preclinical trials. Currently, there are no therapeutics or diagnostics on the market directed against GP88.
"This grant will be enormously helpful as we continue to pursue development of a novel targeted breast cancer therapy based on this important cancer biomarker," said Ginette Serrero, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of A&G. "This award recognizes the achievements we've made in advancing the development of a GP88 therapeutic antibody and the great potential it has demonstrated in preclinical studies to inhibit tumor growth in breast and lung cancers."
Concurrently, A&G Pharmaceutical is developing companion diagnostic products that measure GP88 levels in patients' tissue and blood specimens. In human clinical trials, the GP88 tissue test has demonstrated that an increased expression or presence of GP88 in tumor tissue of breast cancer patients is associated with an increased risk of recurrence as well as decreased overall survival. In ongoing prospective trials for the GP88 blood test, breast cancer patients have been found to have elevated levels of GP88.
"A&G Pharmaceutical is embracing the FDA call for personalized medicines," said Dr. Serrero. "The GP88 therapeutic antibody and companion diagnostics will work together to detect, monitor, and ultimately treat breast cancer patients. We appreciate NIH's support of this new therapeutic avenue for the treatment of cancer."