Pro-Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (OTC:PRWP) today announced that the Brussels Branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research demonstrated the ability of GM-CT-01 (DAVANAT®) to enhance the ability of tumor-specific T-lymphocytes to kill tumor cells.
“New Frontiers at the Interface of Immunity and Glycobiology, held March 6-11, 2011 at Lake Louise, Alberta Canada, that when DAVANAT® was incubated with tumor infiltrating CD8+ lymphocytes the secretion of cytokines was markedly boosted and the ability to kill tumor cells was greatly augmented (poster on web site: www.pro-pharmaceuticals.com).”
Dr. Pierre van der Bruggen's team at the Ludwig Institute in Brussels, Belgium, leaders in cancer immunology research, has shown that blocking the action of Galectin-3 improves the efficacy of T lymphocytes in killing tumor cells. (Immunity, volume 28, pages 414-424, 2008; Cancer Research, volume 70, pages 7476-7488, 2010).
DAVANAT®, the Company's lead compound, is a carbohydrate polymer that targets Galectin proteins that are over-expressed by cancer cells. Current research indicates that Galectins play important roles in cancer, including tumor cell survival, invasion, metastasis, angiogenesis, and the ability of the cancer cell to evade the immune system.
Dr. van der Bruggen reported at the Keystone Symposium on "New Frontiers at the Interface of Immunity and Glycobiology, held March 6-11, 2011 at Lake Louise, Alberta Canada, that when DAVANAT® was incubated with tumor infiltrating CD8+ lymphocytes the secretion of cytokines was markedly boosted and the ability to kill tumor cells was greatly augmented (poster on web site: www.pro-pharmaceuticals.com).
"Our experimental observations on cultured cells suggest that the treatment of cancer patients with DAVANAT® could correct T cell function and we hope that combining DAVANAT® with an anti-cancer vaccine will induce a more efficient and long-lasting anti-tumoral immune response," said Dr. Pierre van der Bruggen. A Phase I/II trial has been designed using a vaccine developed at the Ludwig Institute to treat malignant melanoma with DAVANAT®. The trial is expected to begin in Belgium this year.
"Collaborating with The Ludwig Institute represents an exciting opportunity to partner with a premier cancer research institution to further expand the use of DAVANAT® our novel, Galectin-targeting compound, to treat cancer in combination with vaccines," said Anatole Klyosov, Ph.D., Chief Scientist, Pro-Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
"We are excited about the prospects for combining DAVANAT® with tumor vaccines as a way to extend Galectin therapeutics in the therapy of cancer. Our pre-clinical, Phase I and Phase II clinical trials have demonstrated the ability of DAVANAT® to increase patient survival and reduce side effects of chemotherapy. These findings extend the mechanism of action of DAVANAT®, suggesting that enhancing the patient's immune function will help kill tumor cells," said Peter G. Traber, M.D., Chief Executive Officer, Pro-Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We believe our expertise in developing compounds that target Galectin proteins offers opportunities for the advanced treatment of cancer, fibrosis and inflammatory diseases."