TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwired – June 8, 2015) – Arch Biopartners Inc (Arch) or (the Company) (TSX VENTURE:ACH)(OTCBB:FOIFF), today announced Dr. Sheila Singh will join the Company as a medical and clinical advisor to the development of MetaMx™, the Company’s brain tumor initiating cell (BTIC) targeting technology.
In this capacity, Dr. Singh will provide input toward the clinical design of the first MetaMx imaging human trial and the long term development of the MetaMx platform. She will also provide expertise in classifying BTIC sub-types.
Dr. Singh is an associate professor of surgery and biochemistry at McMaster University and a pediatric neurosurgeon at McMaster Children’s Hospital. She was appointed as a scientist to the Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute at McMaster University. She holds a Tier 2 Canada Research Chair in Human Cancer Stem Cell Biology, and is Director of the McMaster Surgeon Scientist Program. Her PhD thesis described the novel identification of a population of cancer stem cells that exclusively drive the formation of brain tumors.
Since 2007, Dr. Singh’s lab has applied a developmental neurobiology framework to the study of brain tumorigenesis. Building upon previous cell culture techniques developed for the isolation of normal neural stem cells (NSC) and applying them to brain tumors, and through development of a xenograft model to efficiently study brain tumor initiating cell (BTIC) activity, Dr. Singh’s lab aims to understand the molecular mechanisms that govern BTIC self-renewal. Dr. Singh is currently studying the regulation of BTIC signaling pathways in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), brain metastases and childhood medulloblastoma, with an ultimate goal of selectively targeting the BTIC with appropriately tailored drug and molecular therapies. Her laboratory is funded by CCSRI, CIHR, TFRI, CRS, the Stem Cell Network, McMaster Surgical Associates, Brain Canada and the Boris Family Fund.
“GBM is a highly heterogeneous and complex tumor that has evaded current therapies, resulting in inevitable patient relapse and death. The therapeutic strategy of the MetaMx platform is promising because it is specifically designed to target not one, but multiple BTIC populations that escape current chemoradiotherapy. It is a next-generation polytherapeutic approach that I believe will make its mark on GBM,” said Dr. Singh.
“We are honoured to have Dr. Singh join the MetaMx team as a clinical and medical advisor for our upcoming imaging human trial. As a renowned neurosurgeon and pioneer in BTIC research, we look forward to Dr. Singh’s input and working with her team to advance MetaMx to its first human trial,” said Richard Muruve, CEO of Arch.
About MetaMx™ and Malignant Glioma
Worldwide, there are approximately 70,000 new patients with malignant glioma each year and clinical outcomes for these patients have not changed substantially over the past 30 years. Average survival rates, for adults with more aggressive GBM, remain at a dismal 12-15 months and long-term survivors (i.e. those surviving more than 3 years) are rare.
This poor survival rate is linked to brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) and invasive glioma cells which represent disease reservoirs that are not detectable using current diagnostic techniques as they are indiscernible from normal tissue. As a result, these cells are usually left behind in brain tissue post surgery and often lead to tumor relapse and poor patient outcomes.
Therefore, a significant unmet medical need and commercial opportunity lies in the ability to target BTICs and invasive glioma cells for the purpose of imaging, diagnosing and developing targeted therapies to improve patient outcomes and survival rates.
Arch continues to prepare for a human trial to characterize the safety and pharmacokinetics of MetaMx and to demonstrate the efficacy of MetaMx to cross the human blood brain barrier and detect BTICs and invasive glioma cells. Such results in human patients will increase the value of MetaMx not only as a diagnostic and imaging tool but also as a potential drug delivery platform to destroy BTICs and invasive glioma cells.
About Arch Biopartners
Arch Biopartners is a portfolio based biotechnology company established to develop new products and technology for unmet medical needs. The Company’s portfolio includes MetaMx™ that targets brain tumor initiating cells (“BTICs”). Arch is also developing new treatments for Pseudomonas aeruginosa respiratory infections, inflammation based diseases, sepsis and cancer metastasis (Metablok™).
For more information on the Company, please consult the other public documents filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
The Company now has 53,189,679 common shares outstanding.
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