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CombinatoRx and ABC2 Initiate Brain Cancer Collaboration


Posted on: 09/27/2004

CombinatoRx and ABC2 Initiate Brain Cancer Collaboration

Press Release Source: CombinatoRx, Incorporated
Monday September 27, 8:33 am ET
Partnership Speeds Search for Brain Cancer Cure

BOSTON and BURLINGAME, Calif., Sept. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- CombinatoRx, Incorporated, a privately held pharmaceutical company, and Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2), a non-profit foundation dedicated to accelerating therapies leading to a cure for brain cancer, today announced that they have initiated a research collaboration aimed at identifying novel multi-target drugs for the treatment of brain cancer.

The sponsored research will leverage the CombinatoRx proprietary combination high throughput screening (cHTS) platform in an effort to discover novel drug combinations that hit multiple targets relevant to glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a deadly form of brain cancer. The cHTS platform allows CombinatoRx to uncover synergistic activities of drug combinations acting on a network of molecular pathways.

Under the terms of the agreement, CombinatoRx will receive research funding from ABC2, and the intellectual property and commercial rights to all products discovered in the collaboration. Duke University, which has a pre- existing relationship with ABC2, will provide certain research materials and Darell Bigner, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director of Duke Comprehensive Cancer Center and a leader in the field of brain cancer research, will spearhead the pre-clinical assessment of synergistic drug combinations emerging from the collaboration.

CombinatoRx is a product-focused company and has leveraged cHTS to discover a portfolio of drug candidates in cancer and immunoinflammatory diseases. The company's lead oncology program is CRx-026, a dual mechanism anti-cancer agent in Phase I/II clinical trials at leading U.S. cancer centers. Data describing the novel mechanism of action of CRx-026 and its pre- clinical anti-tumor activity were presented at the 2004 American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) conference.

"We are pleased to be collaborating with CombinatoRx as we search for new treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM)," stated John Reher, Executive Director of ABC2. "This program is particularly exciting because the CombinatoRx compound library provides access to a large number of compounds that, while approved as individual drugs, might otherwise never be tested in combination as treatments for brain cancer. And through our previously announced collaboration with Duke, any positive 'hits' from the screening can then be rapidly tested in Duke's in vivo models of brain cancer. Furthermore, because the compounds are approved by global regulatory agencies, this process could lead to near-term clinical trials in patients with GBM."

About ABC2

Accelerate Brain Cancer Cure (ABC2) was founded in May 2001 by Dan and Steve Case and their families, along with leading scientists and entrepreneurs. ABC2 aims to raise awareness about brain cancer and help mobilize critical scientific research through research grants and partnerships. ABC2 funds outstanding and novel translational science that is aimed at the discovery of a cure for brain cancer.

Each year more than 17,000 people in the United States find out that they have a malignant primary brain tumor. An additional 100,000 patients are diagnosed with a brain tumor that has metastasized from another part of the body. The mission of ABC2 is to accelerate a cure for brain cancer by increasing the number of potential therapies discovered and then rapidly moving them into the clinic to help patients. In order to accelerate progress in what has been an under-served field of research, ABC2 provides researchers from all backgrounds with the support they need to make critical breakthroughs in brain cancer research. Further information can be found at http://www.abc2.org.

About CombinatoRx

CombinatoRx, a privately held pharmaceutical company, is creating novel combination medicines designed to attack disease on multiple fronts. The company's clinical and preclinical pipeline includes treatments in development for cancer and rheumatoid arthritis, and the company is also engaged in ongoing research in respiratory, metabolic, and infectious diseases. CombinatoRx applies its proprietary combination drug discovery platform to identify new combination therapeutics, based on the company's understanding of disease networks, in a broad range of therapeutic areas. Founded in 2000 by scientists from Harvard and MIT, the company has raised $90M in venture capital. For further information please visit the CombinatoRx web-site at http://www.combinatorx.com.

Contacts: CombinatoRx, Inc. ABC2
Daniel Grau John Reher
Vice President, Executive Director
Corporate Development (650) 685-2200
(617) 425-7000 john.reher@abc2.org
dgrau@combinatorx.com
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