September 5, 2008

Azaya Licenses New Technology for Head and Neck Cancer Treatment

US-based pharmaceutical company Azaya Therapeutics has signed a licensing agreement to further develop a technology that uses liposomes to deliver radiation through direct injection into head and neck tumors, shrinking the tumor, delaying recurrence and avoiding the collateral tissue damage that often accompanies all other forms of radiation therapy.

The company plans to begin a Phase I clinical trial in early 2010. Azaya is licensing the technology, now known as Azaya Liposomal Encapsulated Radiation Therapy (ALERT), from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSCSA).

Azaya Therapeutics said that its protein stabilized nanoparticle (PSN) technology utilizes a one-step manufacturing process that eliminates these problems with liposomes and enhances the efficacy of known drug products. Preclinical studies of PSN technology have shown improved therapeutic potential, enhanced pharmacokinetics and inhibition of cancer tumors in animal models.

Michael Dwyer, president and CEO of Azaya Therapeutics, said: "Licensing this technology from UTHSCSA adds a very promising new asset to Azaya's product portfolio. This treatment potentially has broad applicability to many different cancers including those of the prostate, breast and brain. It could become quite disruptive to the current cancer treatment paradigm."