Lab Canada

Cancer therapeutics firm gets NRC funding to develop lung cancer drug

Vancouver, BC – Biotech company Protox Therapeutics says it has received funding of up to $340,000 from the National Research Council’s industrial research assistance program. The money will support the company’s development of Lung-H1, a therapeutic toxin for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC).

“We are pleased to be the recipient of the IRAP funding in support of our lung cancer program,” says Dr Fahar Merchant, the company’s president and CEO. “On April 5, 2005 we announced that the company is moving forward with licensing negotiations for the Lung H1 technology from the NRC Institute of Biological Sciences and the University of Victoria Innovation and Development Corporation. This funding will help to drive the development of this promising technology”.

Protox has established a partnership with the NRC Institute of Biological Sciences to produce and test cancer therapeutics that have been created by linking Aerolysin to single chain antibodies that bind to cancer cells. The first application of this approach is the development of Lung-H1 for the treatment of non-small-cell lung cancer, which accounts for approximately 75% of all lung cancers. Lung cancer remains the most common malignancy with an estimated 1.04 million new cases and 921,000 deaths each year worldwide. Patients with NSCLC have poor prognosis and most patients do not respond satisfactorily to treatment.

The company says it believes its engineering approach will produce targeted cancer therapeutics with greater efficacy and fewer side effects than existing cancer treatments.