Solbec announces pre-clinical study to confirm findings into the effect of Coramsine combined with CpG in the treatment of murine mesothelioma

Solbec Pharmaceuticals Ltd has announced the commencement of a pre-clinical study to confirm and extend the findings of an earlier investigation into the effect of Coramsine™ combined with CpG in the treatment of murine mesothelioma.

The study will be carried out by the Tumour Immunology Group at the University of Western Australia.

The study is comprised of four key experiments, The outcomes of the four (4) groups of experiments within the study will be used to inform decisions regarding any future clinical trials of Coramsine™/CpG in patients with cancer.

One of the four experiments has been designed to determine if the results are affected by background genetic factors. Combined treatment will be tested and compared to two strains of mice with different genetic backgrounds.

The study will also determine whether the immunological characteristics of the cancer will affect the ability of the therapy to induce remission or immunity. To do this, the combined treatment regime will be applied to mesothelioma in two different mouse strains and to malignant melanoma in one mouse strain. Melanoma is typically regarded as an immunogenic cancer that is able to provoke an immune response without additional immunotherapy, whilst mesothelioma is not.

An additional element of the present study, will involve preliminary quantification of appropriate measures of immune stimulation such as the T cell response to tumour antigens in patients treated with Coramsine™. This aspect of the study is to provide the researchers with the appropriate measures for monitoring immune activity during a subsequent clinical trial.

The CpG to be used in the study has been supplied by Hybridon Inc., pursuant to a material transfer agreement announced in December 2004.

It is anticipated that all experiments will be completed by June 2005.

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