May 12 2004
Viragen, Inc. today announced that the Company extended its agreement with the University of Miami and UM/Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center to develop a novel form of an immune enhancing drug (IEP 11) that has shown promise in animal studies by inhibiting tumor growth in a broad range of cancers. The agreement continues to provide Viragen with an option to acquire an exclusive worldwide license to commercialize the technology.
“This small peptide molecule called ‘IEP 11’ holds the potential of being a platform technology for the treatment of a broad range of cancers,” stated Dr. William H. Stimson, Viragen’s Director of Research (Emeritus). “Initial studies in animals have shown the peptide elicits a powerful immune response against various types of cancer cells. Additionally, those animals that were ‘IEP 11 immunized’ were found to form much smaller tumors or not at all. Our results to date are highly promising and further pre-clinical research studies will be carried out to confirm our preliminary data.”
Over the next year, Viragen and their University of Miami collaborators plan to carry out a series of pre-clinical studies designed to demonstrate therapeutic efficacy. IEP 11 has already shown to be able to protect against tumor formation in non-human evaluations, so if it also proves efficacious in treatment regimes, the project is expected to move forward towards human clinical evaluations.
UM/Sylvester was founded in 1992 to provide comprehensive cancer services and today serves as the hub for cancer-related research, diagnosis, and treatment at the University of Miami School of Medicine. UM/Sylvester handles more than 1,100 inpatient admissions annually, performs 2,800 surgical procedures, and treats 2,900 new cancer patients. All UM/Sylvester physicians are on the faculty of the University of Miami School of Medicine, South Florida’s only academic medical center. In addition, UM/Sylvester physicians and scientists are engaged in more than 150 clinical trials and receive more than $30 million annually in research grants. UM/Sylvester at Deerfield Beach recently opened to better meet the needs of residents of Broward and Palm Beach Counties. This 10,000 square-foot facility at I-95 and S.W. 10th Street offers appointments with physicians from six cancer specialties, complementary therapies from the Courtelis Center, and education and outreach events. http://www.sylvester.org