Lorus Therapeutics receives patent allowance to protect novel anticancer drug

Lorus Therapeutics today announced that its wholly owned subsidiary, GeneSense Technologies Inc. (GeneSense), has received notice from the European Patent Office of its intention to grant GeneSense's application for a patent of its novel antisense drug, GTI-2501.

GTI-2501 has shown a favourable safety profile in preclinical studies and in a Phase I clinical trial. The drug is currently in a Phase II clinical trial, in combination with docetaxel, for the treatment of hormone refractory prostate cancer. Initial testing of GT-2501 demonstrated strong antitumor activity in preclinical studies of prostate cancer and a variety of other human tumor types.

This European patent allowance follows a patent that was issued by the United States Patent Office in September 2000. A patent application for GTI-2501 has been filed in Canada and in numerous other international jurisdictions.

"Lorus Therapeutics is focused on developing anticancer drugs which complement the efficacy of more toxic chemotherapies without adding significant additional toxicity," said Dr. Jim Wright, CEO of Lorus Therapeutics. "We are pleased with the mild side effect profile previously observed with GTI-2501 alone, and the strong data and rationale supporting the ongoing clinical program in combination treatment for prostate cancer."

Dr. Wright added: "This European patent allowance contributes to our strong global intellectual property portfolio, which is an important strategy for enhancing shareholder value."

GTI-2501 is an antisense oligonucleotide complementary to the R1 component of ribonucleotide reductase, which component is essential for DNA replication and tumor cell proliferation. GTI-2501 is designed to exert its activity by specific downregulation of the R1 component of ribonucleotide reductase. In preclinical studies, GTI-2501 showed significant antitumor activity against prostate cancer and a variety of other tumor types including colon, pancreas, NSCLC, breast, ovary, melanoma, brain (glioblastoma-astrocytoma), renal, cervical, lymphoma and leukemia.

To date, GTI-2501 has concluded a Phase I clinical trial.

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