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Publication of Early Research on Callisto Pharmaceutical`s Degrasyn Drug Class Suggests Potential to Treat Brain Tumors


Posted on: 01/23/2007

Publication of Early Research on Callisto Pharmaceutical's Degrasyn Drug Class Suggests Potential to Treat Brain Tumors 

Posted on : 2007-01-23 | Author : Callisto Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
News Category : PressRelease 
 
 
 
NEW YORK, January 23 /PRNewswire/ --
 
- Paper Published in Oncogene Highlights Animal Model Data on DegrasynDrug Candidate WP1066
 
Callisto Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Amex: KAL - News; FWB: CA4), a developerof new drug treatments in the fight against cancer and other major healththreats, announced today a recent publication by a research group at theUniversity of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center on a Degrasyn (STAT3 PathwayInhibitor) drug candidate showing promise as a therapeutic agent to treatmalignant gliomas - brain tumors. STAT3 pathway inhibitors are a new class ofdrugs that were licensed to Callisto Pharmaceuticals from The University ofTexas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center in January 2006. The report, published inthe journal Oncogene, 10.1038/sj.onc.1210031, describes studies with WP1066on human malignant glioma (brain tumor) cells and in a mouse model of humanbrain cancer. Notably, WP1066 administered to mice significantly inhibitedthe growth of subcutaneous malignant glioma (brain cell) xenografts duringthe 30-day follow-up period.
 
Importantly, the researchers also demonstrated that STAT3, a key proteininvolved in tumor proliferation and survival, showed reduced phosphorylationin tumor tissue treated with WP1066. Phosphorylation of STAT3 is required foractivation of the pathway leading to tumorogenesis and cancer-cellproliferation and survival. The authors conclude that STAT3 pathwayinhibitors such as WP1066 show potential as therapeutic agents againstmalignant gliomas, the most common primary cancer of the brain.
 
The publication: "A Novel Inhibitor of the STAT3 Pathway InducesApoptosis in Malignant Glioma Cells In Vitro and In Vivo" appeared inOncogene (2006), 1-10; and was authored by A. Iwamaru, S. Szymanski, E.Iwado, H. Aoki, T. Yokoyama, I. Fokt, K. Hess, C. Conrad, T. Madden, R.Sawaya, S. Kondo, W. Priebe and Y. Kondo.
 
About STAT3 Pathway Inhibitors (Degrasyns)
 
STAT3 pathway inhibitors represents a new class of drugs that werediscovered by Prof. Waldemar Priebe and his colleagues and were licensed toCallisto Pharmaceuticals from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson CancerCenter in January 2006. The novel anti-cancer activity of these compoundsrelates to their ability to effectively inhibit Jak2/STAT3 pathway andsubsequently tumor cell proliferation and survival. This pathway is activatedin a wide range of tumors.
 
About Callisto Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
 
Callisto is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of newdrugs to treat various forms of cancer and other serious afflictions.Callisto's drug candidates in development currently include anti-canceragents in clinical development, in addition to drugs in pre-clinicaldevelopment for other significant health care markets, including ulcerativecolitis. One of the Company's lead drug candidates, Atiprimod, is indevelopment to treat advanced carcinoid cancer, a neuroendocrine tumor, andrelapsed multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. Atiprimod is presently in a PhaseII clinical trial in advanced carcinoid cancer patients, and in a Phase I/IIahuman clinical trials in relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma patients.Another anti-cancer drug, L-Annamycin, discovered by Prof. Waldemar Priebeand his colleagues is being developed as a treatment for forms of relapsed orrefractory acute leukemia, a currently incurable blood cancer. Callistoinitiated a clinical trial of L-Annamycin in adult relapsed or refractoryacute lymphoblastic leukemia patients in 4Q 2005. L-Annamycin, a new compoundfrom the anthracycline family of proven anti-cancer drugs, has a noveltherapeutic profile, including activity against resistant diseases andsignificantly reduced cardiotoxicity, or damage to the heart, compared tocurrently available drug alternatives. Callisto also has drugs in preclinicaldevelopment for gastro-intestinal inflammation, and cancer. Callisto hasexclusive worldwide licenses from AnorMED Inc. and M. D. Anderson CancerCenter to develop, manufacture, use and sell Atiprimod and L-Annamycin,respectively. Callisto is also listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange underthe ticker symbol CA4. More information is available athttp://www.callistopharma.com.
 
Forward-Looking Statements
 
Certain statements made in this press release are forward-looking. Suchstatements are indicated by words such as "expect,""should,""anticipate"and similar words indicating uncertainty in facts and figures. AlthoughCallisto believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-lookingstatements are reasonable, it can give no assurance that such expectationsreflected in such forward-looking statements will prove to be correct. Asdiscussed in the Callisto Pharmaceuticals Annual Report on Form 10-K/A forthe year ended December 31, 2005, and other periodic reports, as filed withthe Securities and Exchange Commission, actual results could differmaterially from those projected in the forward-looking statements as a resultof the following factors, among others: uncertainties associated with productdevelopment, the risk that products that appeared promising in early clinicaltrials do not demonstrate efficacy in larger-scale clinical trials, the riskthat Callisto will not obtain approval to market its products, the risksassociated with dependence upon key personnel and the need for additionalfinancing.
 
Web site: http://www.callistopharma.com
 
Callisto Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
 
Dan D'Agostino of Callisto Pharmaceuticals, Inc., +1-212-297-0010, ext. 227, dagostino@callistopharma.com 
 

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