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Horizon and Cylene Pharmaceuticals Collaborate in Rational Selection of Patients for Clinical Trial

19 Oct 2010

Horizon Discovery Ltd (Horizon) and Cylene Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Cylene) have entered into a collaboration to maximize potential patient benefit from Cylene’s novel anticancer agent, the companies announced today. The collaboration will utilize Horizon’s X-MANTM proprietary human isogenic cancer cell-lines, which represent accurate models of defined cancer patient populations and their matched normal genetic backgrounds. These cell-lines will be used to pinpoint patients who will respond best to Cylene’s first-in-class CK2 inhibitor, CX-4945. This partnership between two leaders in their respective fields could result in a significant reduction in research costs and acceleration of timelines for regulatory approval.

Horizon has identified Cylene’s novel clinical CK2 inhibitor as an ideal drug to exploit their cutting-edge biological tools and services that can potentially accelerate the development of personalized cancer medicines. CX-4945 is the first and only CK2 inhibitor to have entered clinical trials and represents a potential treatment for many different cancers. The X-MAN panel of over 250 genetically-defined human cell-lines is ideally suited for identifying those specific cancer patients who will gain the most benefit from the compound. The collaboration seeks to identify the genetic factors in cancer that determine the greatest sensitivity to CX-4945. This innovative approach could significantly decrease development times and provide increased success in clinical trials for this drug.

Dr. Kenna Anderes, VP Cancer Biology, Cylene, commented: “CX-4945 is the first drug in the clinic that targets the kinase CK2, a protein that is over expressed in many diverse cancers. Successful exploitation of this novel molecular target to treat cancers absolutely requires an understanding of the genetic mutations and molecular pathways to which the tumor has become reliant, i.e. the context of vulnerability. We feel confident that Horizon’s expertise will provide an effective and efficient way of defining the most responsive cancer patient population.”

Dr. Chris Torrance, CEO of Horizon Discovery Ltd, said: “There is now an abundance of information on how cancer arises and progresses and we also know that onset, progression and response to drugs is substantially different from one patient to another. Consequently, the old ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach to cancer drug development and prescription will need to move towards a more ‘targeted’ or ‘personalized’ paradigm”. Dr. Torrance went on to say: “The time and costs associated with finding new treatments need to fall drastically to benefit drug developers, healthcare reimbursers, tax-payers and patients alike. We are honored to be working with Cylene on this pioneering study and are confident the outcome will benefit their drug development activities and provide a road-map for other Biotech companies to address the pressing need to reduce the time and costs of clinical development”.