Genesis Biopharma, Inc. (OTC/BB: GNBP), a biotechnology company developing targeted cancer therapies, today announced an expanded clinical focus to include an autologous cell therapy product candidate, Contego™, for the treatment of Stage IV metastatic melanoma. Anthony J. Cataldo, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Genesis Biopharma, and members of the Company's Scientific and Medical Advisory Board (SMAB) met in Chicago where SMAB members were attending the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) symposia, to review results from similar therapeutic approaches at several of the nation's leading cancer care centers, and plan for the clinical development of Contego.
Contego (Latin for "to shield; to protect") will be developed by Genesis Biopharma as a ready-to-infuse autologous cell therapy product containing tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) obtained from a patient's metastatic melanoma tumors. Following resection of the patient's tumor, TILs are isolated from the resected tumor and expanded in vitro to several hundred million cells. The expanded TILs are then infused into the patient, where they subsequently attack melanoma tumors throughout the body. Contego is based on the TIL adoptive cell therapy being used at the National Cancer Institute, MD Anderson Cancer Center and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer & Research Institute.
"Our intention is to move expeditiously to develop Contego for the treatment of metastatic melanoma," stated Mr. Cataldo. "With the help of our Scientific and Medical Advisory Board, we are hopeful Contego will successfully advance through clinical development and the regulatory process, and become available as a therapeutic option for the estimated 20,000 patients worldwide with Stage IV metastatic melanoma."