10 Jul 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
Singapore: Australia based clinical stage biotechnology company Patrys' scientific collaborators at Macquarie University, Sydney, have been awarded a $427,510 Australian government grant to support the development of new highly sensitive, non-invasive cancer diagnostic kits using Patrys' lead candidate PAT-SM6.
PAT-SM6 is an IgM antibody that has successfully completed a Phase I trial in melanoma and is currently in a Phase I/IIa trial for patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma.
The grant, which has been awarded by the Australian Research Council, will bring together experts from Macquarie led by Dr Dayong Jin, Professor Nicolle Packer, Professor James Piper, Associate Professor Robert Willows and Professor Simon Foote, with industry partners Minomic International Limited and Patrys.
The project will combine Macquarie's new Super Dot nanocrystal technology with Minomic's and Patrys' antibodies directed against prostate and multiple myeloma cancer biomarkers, respectively.
Patrys' previous collaboration with Professor Packer showed that PAT-SM6 detects specific changes in the proteins present on the surface of multiple myeloma cells, but not on normal cells. These cancer-modified cells in the patients' blood and urine are very rare in early stages of disease and their detection poses a "needle-in-a-haystack" challenge at both the research and clinical levels. Current diagnostic tests are not sensitive enough to detect these rare-event cells, resulting in an inefficient early detection and diagnosis of cancer and consequently poor prognosis.
Dr Jin and colleagues from Macquarie University have developed highly sensitive technologies using super-bright nanocrystals that will enable the detection of single abnormal cells in body fluids, and will provide the basis for new, sensitive and non-invasive, early-stage screening of multiple myeloma, prostate cancer and other malignancies.
Patrys CEO, Dr Marie Roskrow, said, "Patrys is very proud to be part of this exciting and cutting-edge project and welcomes the opportunity to explore the innovative aspects of Patrys' antibodies. The possibility to use Patrys' antibodies as cancer diagnostics as well as therapeutics is very exciting and potentially brings additional opportunities and value to the Patrys' pipeline."