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By Biocat

Oryzon and the Cancer Research UK’s Paterson Institute of the Manchester University have entered into a collaboration to further study the potential of highly potent and highly-selective Oryzon LSD1 inhibitors in the treatment of acute leukemia. This collaborative research is performed by Dr. Tim Somervaille’s group. Dr. Somervaille is a specialist in leukaemia and in LSD1.

Currently, chemotherapy and bone marrow transplants can only cure 50% of all cases of acute leukemia and treatment of this disease continues to focus on improvements to drugs developed 40 years ago, according to data from Oryzon. LSD1 inhibitors, an area in which Oryzon leads the market with a powerful R&D program and more than 800 molecules covered under 20 different patents, is an innovative approach that could help resolve this need.

Recently, in independent research that was published in Cancer Cell [1], Dr. Somervaille demonstrated that molecules discovered and patented by Oryzon were efficient in the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML), which represents 40% of all leukaemias in humans, and especially an aggressive form of acute myeloid leukaemia called mixed lineage leukaemia (MLL), pointing to a significant potential therapeutic window for the use of LSD1 inhibitors in the MLL molecular subtype of AMLs.

The collaborative program aims to better understand the mechanism by which LSD1 inhibitors are affecting the diverse molecular types of acute leukaemia and other haematological malignancies and to determine in which disease subtypes these drugs could be more effective. Different in vitro and in vivo models will be used to assess the efficacy of various Oryzon advanced LSD1 inhibitors.

Last May, Oryzon announced the nomination of a preclinical candidate for development that is currently in regulatory safety studies and it is expected to be ready for the first tests in humans in early 2013. Also, the current collaboration agreement contemplates the possibility that The Christie NHS Foundation Trust —a specialist cancer hospital serving the North West of England— be chosen to perform the Phase I/IIA studies planned for next year.

An overview of Oryzon’s LSD1 program will be presented at the 2nd Cancer Epigenetics conference, 8-9 November in Boston (USA), and at the 4th World Epigenetics Summit, 3 December in London (UK).


[1] Cancer Cell. 2012 Mar 28. The Histone Demethylase KDM1A Sustains the Oncogenic Potential of MLL-AF9 Leukemia Stem Cells. Cancer Research UK Leukaemia Biology Laboratory, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, University of Manchester, UK.

Related news (12/4/2012)

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