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London Genetics and Astrimmune to Collaborate on Cancer Vaccine

November 12, 2010

LONDON and NOTTINGHAM, England, November 12, 2010 /PRNewswire/ — London
Genetics Limited, an expert in the use of pharmacogenetics in clinical drug
discovery and development, and Astrimmune, which is focused on
gastrointestinal cancers, are pleased to announce that they have entered into
a collaboration to plan a biomarker identification programme. The plan, for
Astrimmune’s early-stage pancreatic cancer vaccine candidate, will be used in
applications for further funding of its development. Financial terms were not
disclosed.

Astrimmune’s vaccine candidate induces the production of antibodies
against gastrin, a hormone which is known to stimulate the growth of many
types of gastrointestinal cancer. Since differential response rates have been
observed in clinical trials of other gastrin-blocking products, with some
patients responding very well and others hardly at all, there is a clear need
for biomarkers to help identify those patients most likely to benefit from
Astrimmune’s product. For example, there is a possibility that the variable
response rates may have been due in part to the inclusion of some patients
with gastrin-insensitive tumours, or those not able to respond
immunologically.

Under the terms of the collaboration, which is supported by a grant from
the UK East Midlands Development Agency, London Genetics and Astrimmune will
put together a proposal for identification of biomarkers predictive of
clinical response. London Genetics’ seven academic partners, which have an
annual research budget of over GBP650m, are able to provide expertise in
areas such as tumour biopsy samples and animal models, as well as expertise
in the genetics of immune responses to cancer vaccines.

Dominique Kleyn, CEO of London Genetics, said, ‘This collaboration is a
significant pharmacogenetics development opportunity, and we are pleased to
be working with Astrimmune on this important project. As exemplified by our
recent collaboration with Diaceutics and increasingly recognised by the
biopharmaceutical industry, pharmacogenetics, biomarkers and patient
stratification are becoming an important part of the drug discovery and
development process. London Genetics’ network of over 3,000 academic groups
makes it an ideal partner for pharma and biotech companies in this work.’

Fred Jacobs, Managing Director of Astrimmune, said, ‘Pancreatic cancer is
an area of serious unmet medical need, with a five-year survival rate of
around 5% and few treatment options. Availability of a biomarker to select
those patients mostly likely to benefit from Astrimmune’s vaccine candidate
can be expected to expedite the development of this product and increase its
chances of coming to market in the future. London Genetics is an expert in
this area and Astrimmune is delighted to be working with the company on this
important part of the project development.’

About London Genetics: London Genetics Limited, a not-for-profit company,
is an expert in the use of pharmacogenetics in clinical drug discovery and
development. Established in 2007 with funding from the London Development
Agency, its seven founding partners are leading London academic and medical
institutions with clinical and genetic expertise and significant patient
resources. The company provides pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies
with access to this expertise and resource, as well as providing strategic
advice on the application of pharmacogenetics for successful drug
development. LGL has broad therapeutic expertise, based on its access to
3,000 academic groups with a GBP650m annual research spend. Recent deals by
London Genetics include a partnership with Diaceutics to accelerate biomarker
development in the biopharmaceutical industry. LGL is based in central London
and has ISO 9001 accreditation. For further information, please go to
http://www.londongenetics.com

About Astrimmune: Astrimmune (Company Registration: 06379008), is a
limited, social enterprise company developing treatments for gastrointestinal
cancers. Astrimmune is focussed on the elimination of cancer growth factors
that are not yet commercialised and is progressing a new immunogen vaccine
candidate for use in gastro-intestinal cancers. The distillation of their
prior knowledge, coupled with a research programme to refine patient
selection to identify the most responsive patients, provides for an
accelerated, low cost development path with an increased chance of successful
product registration in the EU and the US. For further information, please go
to http://astrimmune.blogspot.com/

    For further information please contact:

    London Genetics Ltd

    Dominique Kleyn, CEO
    +44(0)207-594-1838

    Emma Palmer Foster, Strategic Communications Consultant
    +44(0)7880-787185

    communications@londongenetics.com

    Astrimmune

    Fred Jacobs, Managing Director
    +44(0)7989-386326

SOURCE London Genetics Ltd


Source: newswire



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