October 8, 2008

NCCN, Abraxis BioScience and AstraZeneca Form Anticancer Collaboration

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network, Abraxis BioScience and AstraZeneca have entered into a collaboration to conduct multiple investigator-initiated studies of Abraxis BioScience's anticancer drug Abraxane for injectable suspension, which is based on the company's proprietary tumor targeting technology known as the nab platform.

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) studies will evaluate Abraxane in the treatment of breast, non-small cell lung, head and neck, melanoma and ovarian cancers. The clinical research will include investigations of tumor gene expression by microarray and the expression of secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC), a protein that is over expressed and secreted in many cancers.

SPARC, a known prognostic factor for poor survival in a number of tumor types, is an albumin binding protein that may mediate an enhanced anti-tumor effect of Abraxane via a SPARC- albumin interaction.

Abraxis and AstraZeneca, which have a co-promotion agreement for marketing Abraxane in the US, are providing funding in support of the clinical studies.

Patrick Soon-Shiong, chairman and CEO of Abraxis BioScience, said: "Collaborating with NCCN Member Institutions allows us to tap into their collective expertise to develop safer and more effective treatments for cancer. Abraxane has become a leading treatment option for metastatic breast cancer, and we are pleased to support this critical research designed to investigate Abraxane in several oncology indications."