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Posted: Sep 11, 2013

Azaya Therapeutics Collaborates with CANbridge Life Sciences to Develop ATI-1123 for Lung Cancer in China

(Nanowerk News) Azaya Therapeutics Inc., a clinical-stage oncology company developing more effective cancer treatments through its nanotechnology platform, announced an exclusive license with CANbridge Life Sciences, in Beijing, China, to develop and commercialize Azaya’s lead compound, ATI-1123, for non-small cell lung cancer in China, South Korea and Taiwan. As part of the agreement, CANbridge will fund clinical development in China and North Asia, collaborating with Azaya on clinical trial design. Financial details of the arrangement were not disclosed.
ATI-1123 is a liposomal formulation of docetaxel using Azaya’s patented Protein Stabilized Liposomes™ (PSL) process. Liposomal encapsulation could make ATI-1123 more easily tolerated than the standard, highly-toxic, docetaxel, which is marketed around the world for the treatment of breast cancer, non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) and other solid-tumor cancers. ATI-1123 completed an FDA-approved Phase I trial in 29 patients with solid-tumor cancers who had failed on other therapies. Phase II clinical trials in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), gastric cancer, pancreatic cancer and soft-tissue sarcoma are planned and should commence in 2014.
“Our commercialization strategy for ATI-1123 is to seek approval in the United States and European Union, primarily. However, the CANbridge opportunity was presented and we felt it was too good to pass up,” said Mike Dwyer, Azaya Therapeutics CEO and President. “The people who comprise the CANbridge team were responsible for Chinese regulatory approval of several leading Genzyme products. We know them personally and know they only take on drugs they believe will suit their market. We have a high degree of trust in their ability to get the job done.
“Additionally,” Mr. Dwyer went on, “the incidence and prevalence of cancer is increasing in China. At the same time, both the government and individuals are seeking increasing access to effective treatments. In a population that is unfamiliar with traditional chemotherapy and its serious side effects, a potentially gentler drug, with less side effects, such as ATI-1123, might be rapidly adopted.”
Lung cancer is the most common solid tumor cancer in China, with over 700,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Over the past 30 years, the incidence of lung cancer has increased five-fold, due to pollution and a large number of smokers. Mortality rates from lung cancer have also gone up 500% over that timeframe.
About Azaya Therapeutics
Azaya Therapeutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage oncology company focused on developing more effective cancer treatments through its novel nanotechnology platform. Azaya’s patented Protein Stabilized Liposomes™ platform allows for high-dose delivery of potent cytotoxics with potentially lower side effects. Azaya's lead compound, ATI-1123, is a novel liposomal encapsulation of docetaxel. ATI-1123 has completed a FDA-approved Phase I clinical trial in solid tumor patients. Results included evidence of clinical benefit in 82% of the patients with an improved safety profile.
Azaya’s other product, ATI-0918, is a generic formulation of DOXIL®/CAELYX®. ATI-0918 is in an FDA-approved bioequivalency clinical trial in comparison with DOXIL/CAELYX in women with ovarian cancer. On the basis of this trial and various in-vitro tests, the company will apply for market approval in both the United States and Europe.
Azaya Therapeutics, Inc. is privately-held and located in San Antonio, Texas. For more information on Azaya, please go to www.azayatherapeutics.com
Source: Azaya Therapeutics (press release)
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