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Marillion Pharmaceuticals and Bracco Imaging S.p.A. Announce License Agreement to Develop and Commercialize Novel Cancer Treatment.

Marillion acquires exclusive worldwide rights to (177)Lu-AMBA, a first in class targeted radiotherapeutic for advanced prostate and breast cancers discovered and developed by Bracco Imaging S.p.A.

MALVERN, Pa. & PRINCETON, N.J. -- Marillion Pharmaceuticals Inc. and Bracco Imaging S.p.A., one of the world's leading companies in the diagnostic imaging business and part of the Bracco Group, announced today that the two companies have entered into a license agreement granting Marillion exclusive worldwide rights to complete clinical development and to commercialize Bracco's 177Lu-AMBA for the treatment of hormone-resistant prostate and advanced (metastatic) breast cancers.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), prostate and breast cancers affect more than 4 million patients via new diagnoses each year. Prostate cancer is a chronic disease occurring in men over 50 years old. The cancer evolves in two phases. Initially, most prostate cancers depend on male hormones for their sustained growth and anti-hormonal therapies can initially be effective in stabilizing the cancer. Inevitably however, tumor progression resumes despite anti-hormonal treatment. The prognosis for these hormone-refractory prostate cancer patients is poor. Their treatment option is presently limited to chemotherapy as the accepted standard of care. The median survival expectancy for these patients does not exceed 19 months.

More than 2 million women are diagnosed with breast cancer each year. Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of the disease and occurs when the cancer spreads to distant organs in the body. Treatment of metastatic breast cancer generally focuses on relieving symptoms and extending a woman's lifetime.

"177Lu-AMBA is a targeted radiotherapeutic that utilizes an innovative receptor-based technology. In contrast to traditional modes of treatment for advanced cancers, this unique targeting capability means that 177Lu-AMBA is able to home in on tumor cells and spare normal tissues. In addition, up to 70% of patients with prostate cancer have bone metastases which cause unrelenting pain. Early clinical trials have shown that these metastases may also be effectively targeted by 177Lu-AMBA", commented Dr. Zahed Subhan, Chief Executive Officer, Marillion Pharmaceuticals. "An effective targeted radiotherapeutic for the treatment of advanced prostate and breast cancers would potentially create a new billion dollar drug class. There are currently only marginally useful treatments for the later stages of these pathologies," added Dr. Subhan.

"We believe Marillion is a strong partner for 177Lu-AMBA based on the company's extensive background and focus on oncology drug development," commented Michael Tweedle, Ph.D., President and CEO, Bracco Research USA Inc., one of the three proprietary research centers of the Group, based in Princeton, New Jersey.

About Marillion Pharmaceuticals

Marillion Pharmaceuticals is a clinical-stage pharmaceuticals company dedicated to the development and commercialization of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancers and for supportive care in oncology. Marillion's product pipeline includes MN-201, the first synthetic vitamin D5 receptor ligand to be advanced into clinical development for a variety of cancers and Pilobuc[TM] a novel buccal formulation of pilocarpine for the treatment of xerostomia associated with radiotherapy for head and neck cancers as well as various autoimmune conditions, including Sjogren's syndrome. Marillion was founded in 2005 following seed funding from BioAdvance, based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania which is a leading US-based investor providing pre-seed and seed-stage funding to emerging life science companies. Series A funding was received from VenturEast. VenturEast is the only Life Sciences / Healthcare focused fund in India. VenturEast invests in early-to-growth stage companies that have the potential to lower the cost of innovation for global pharma companies and extend healthcare services to developing regions of the world.

About Bracco Imaging S.p.A.

Bracco Imaging S.p.A. is one of the world's leading companies in the diagnostic imaging business. Bracco Imaging develops, manufactures, and markets diagnostic imaging agents and solutions that meet medical needs and facilitate clinical solutions. Headquartered in Milan, Italy, Bracco Imaging operates in over 80 markets worldwide, either directly or indirectly, through subsidiaries, joint ventures, licenses and distribution partnership agreements. Bracco Diagnostics Inc and Bracco Research USA Inc are U.S. subsidiaries of Bracco Imaging.

Bracco Imaging is a subsidiary of Bracco S.p.A., the holding company of the Bracco Group which also markets Ethical and Over the Counter (OTC) pharmaceutical products in Italy as well as Advanced Medical Technology systems worldwide. Furthermore, the Bracco Group offers diagnosis services through the Milan-based Centro Diagnostico Italiano (Italian Diagnostic Center).
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Nov 11, 2008
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