BEVERLY, MA–(Marketwire – Mar 19, 2012) – Cellceutix Corporation (OTCBB: CTIX) (“the Company”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat unmet medical conditions, is pleased to announce that it has entered into an agreement with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, a teaching hospital of Harvard Medical School, on an innovative research project with Kevetrin™. The Medical Center wishes to exploit the nuclear and/or mitochondrial pro-apoptotic function of p53 in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, two types of cancer that are particularly resistant to therapy.
The collaborative studies are completely independent from the planned clinical trials for Kevetrin™ that will be conducted at these cancer centers and sponsored by Cellceutix.
“It is quite a milestone accomplishment to have major universities and hospitals beginning to study our compound,” said Leo Ehrlich, Chief Executive Officer at Cellceutix. “Other parties and grants will cover the cost of the study. There are many benefits to working with a member of the premier university hospital in the world. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center will be researching Kevetrin™ for indications in addition to those which we will be studying in our company-sponsored clinical trials. If they collect promising data in their research of Kevetrin™ in melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, additional grant and government funding may become available to further study these separate indications, saving us substantial time and money towards the end goal of commercialization.”
The p53 signaling pathway is a crucial regulator of cell cycle and apoptosis. Remarkably, p53 signaling pathway is defective in most, if not all, human tumors. Extensive pre-clinical research on Kevetrin™ has resulted in a compilation of promising data showing a wide therapeutic index through the re-activation of p53. In most melanoma and renal carcinoma (RCC) tumor cells the p53 gene is fundamentally intact, therefore it is possible to exploit the nuclear and/or mitochondrial pro-apoptotic function of p53 in treatment of these malignancies. An agent that activates p53 function in mitochondria (e.g., Kevetrin™) might be particularly effective in the treatment of RCC and melanoma. In this regard, Cellceutix formed a collaborative agreement with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center for combination studies with multikinase inhibitors, under development from a large pharmaceutical manufacturer, which activate pro-apoptotic activity by translocation of p53 in mitochondria and inducing apoptosis. This study will provide vital insight to exploit the nuclear and/or mitochondrial pro-apoptotic function by Kevetrin in combination with other multikinase inhibitors in treatment of these malignancies.