Onyx Awarded Patent For Viral Cancer Therapy.
RICHMOND, Calif.--(BW HealthWire)--Oct. 14, 1997--Onyx Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ NASDAQ
in full National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations
U.S. market for over-the-counter securities. Established in 1971 by the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD), NASDAQ is an automated quotation system that reports on :ONXX) today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office The United States Patent and Trademark Office (PTO or USPTO) is an agency in the United States Department of Commerce that provides patent protection to inventors and businesses for their inventions, and trademark registration for product and intellectual property has granted the company U.S. patent number 5,677,178 covering methods for treating cancer using replicating viral-based therapy.
The patent specifically covers the use of modified adenoviruses and other DNA viruses, which lack viral proteins that bind to the tumor suppressor sup·pres·sor
1. or sup·press·er One that suppresses: a suppressor of free speech.
2. A gene that suppresses the phenotypic expression of another gene, especially of a mutant gene. protein p53, to treat cancer patients whose tumors lack p53 function.
"The idea of treating cancer with a modified adenovirus adenovirus
Any of a group of spheroidal viruses, made up of DNA wrapped in a protein coat, that cause sore throat and fever in humans, hepatitis in dogs, and several diseases in fowl, mice, cattle, pigs, and monkeys. originated here at Onyx with our founder Dr. Frank McCormick
n.pl a term used to describe research done before a clinical study. May be laboratory or epidemiologic research. and into human clinical trials. This patent provides protection for our leading position as developer of this novel approach to cancer therapy."
Dr. McCormick is the sole inventor listed on the patent. He founded Onyx in 1992, and currently serves on the company's scientific advisory board.
The role of the p53 tumor suppressor gene tumor suppressor gene
A gene that suppresses cellular proliferation. When inherited in a mutated state, it is associated with the development of various cancers, including most familial cancers. Also called antioncogene. is to prevent replication of abnormal DNA DNA: see nucleic acid.
or deoxyribonucleic acid
One of two types of nucleic acid (the other is RNA); a complex organic compound found in all living cells and many viruses. It is the chemical substance of genes. during the process of cell division. In normal cells, p53 detects errors in DNA and either halts the cycle of cell division until the errors are corrected, or forces the cell to undergo apoptosis or "cell suicide." If p53 has mutated and become inactive, the cell's DNA continues to replicate even if it contains many errors. As a result abnormal cells can survive and multiply.
Mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor gene are the most common genetic abnormalities found in human cancers, appearing in more than half of all cancers. One of the functions of this gene is to shut down the cell's reproductive machinery upon viral invasion. Viruses, however, can overcome this defense by producing special viral proteins that disable this regulating gene.
The viruses developed by Onyx are genetically modified such that they do not produce the proteins responsible for inactivating p53. As a result, these modified viruses do not replicate effectively in normal cells, but do replicate in and kill p53-deficient tumor cells. Preclinical studies of ONYX-015, which targets tumor cells that are either p53-deficient or that have non-functioning p53, have shown that once these mutated cancer cells are infected with the modified adenovirus, the virus growth cycle continues to proceed unchecked and the cancer cells burst and die.
In June 1997, Onyx completed enrollment in its first Phase I study of the ONYX-015 adenovirus in patients with recurrent and refractory cancer refractory cancer Oncology Cancer that is unresponsive to treatment. See Radioinsensitive. of the head and neck. The company is currently conducting Phase II trials in the same patient population. Onyx recently announced initiation of a second Phase II study treating head and neck cancer patients with ONYX-015 in combination with chemotherapy. In addition, Phase I trials are underway in pancreatic cancer pancreatic cancer
Malignant tumour of the pancreas. Risk factors include smoking, a diet high in fat, exposure to certain industrial products, and diseases such as diabetes and chronic pancreatitis. Pancreatic cancer is more common in men. , ovarian cancer ovarian cancer
Malignant tumour of the ovaries. Risk factors include early age of first menstruation (before age 12), late onset of menopause (after age 52), absence of pregnancy, presence of specific genetic mutations, use of fertility drugs, and personal history of breast , and in gastrointestinal cancers that have metastasized to the liver.
Onyx Pharmaceuticals was founded in 1992 for the purpose of discovering and developing novel therapeutics based upon the genetics of human disease, with an emphasis on cancer. The company focuses on defining the function of certain mutated genes which are known to cause cancer, and on developing innovative therapies to reverse the effects of the mutation or to kill the cancer cell. Onyx pursues a strategy of establishing corporate partnerships that provide complementary skills in chemistry, drug development, and marketing and sales.
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements with regard to the development of potential human therapeutic products that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Actual events may differ from the company's expectations. In addition to the matters described in this press release, the timeline for clinical activity, results of pending or future clinical trials, and changes in the status of the company's collaborative relationships, as well as the risk factors listed from time to time in the company's periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to its Annual Report on Form 10-K Form 10-K
A report required by the SEC from exchange-listed companies that provides for annual disclosure of certain financial information.
See 10-K. , may affect the actual results achieved by the company.
CONTACT: Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc.
Jana R. Cuiper, 510/262-8734
J. Kureczka Associates
Joan Kureczka, 415/821-2413