Stem Cell Therapeutics Strengthens CD47 Franchise With Acquistion of Complementary Antibody Program

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct 17, 2013) - Stem Cell Ther apeutics Corp. (TSX VENTURE:SSS)(SCTPF), a biopharmaceutical immuno-oncology company developing cancer stem cell-related therapeutics, today announced that it has entered into an option agreement to exclusively license worldwide rights to a panel of fully human monoclonal antibodies targeting the SIRPa protein (CD172a). The technology was developed by scientists at the University Health Network, the University of Toronto, through the Toronto Recombinant Antibody Centre (TRAC), and The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids), in Toronto, Ontario.

SIRPa is the ligand of CD47, a molecule upregulated on many hematological and solid tumors. CD47 delivers a "do not eat" signal that su ppresses macrophage phagocytosis, allowing cancer cells, including cancer stem cells, to escape immune-mediated destruction. Stem Cell Therapeutics (SCT) is currently developing a CD47 antagonist, using a modified version of the native SIRPa protein fused to an immunoglobulin Fc region. This SIRPaFc fusion protein has shown remarkable anti-leukemic activity both in vitro and in human xenograft models, and SCT recently announced that the program has entered the IND-enabling phase of drug development. The company expects to report further updates at the upcoming annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (December 7-10, 2013).

"Targeting the CD47/SIRPa pathway can eliminate bot h bulk cancer cells and cancer stem cells, and engages both the innate and the adaptive arms of the immune system," commented SCT's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Bob Uger. "Antibody blockade of SIRPa is a promising approach to activate the anti-tumor activity of macrophages against both liquid and solid tumors, and has the potential as both a monotherapy and combination therapy with other anti-cancer antibodies."

"The CD47/SIRPa axis is one of the most promising a nd compelling next-generation immunotherapy targets in the fight against cancer," remarked SCT's Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Niclas Stiernholm. "Having recently an nounced the advancement of our SIRPaFc program into formal IND-enabling studies, a program we believe is the best-in-class CD47 antagonist currently in development, reinforcing our industry-leading position in this pathway with a complementary antibody program against the SIRPa protein makes eminent sense."

The execution of the definitive license agreement is subject to final due-diligence and certain conditions being met by SCT over the next nine months. The license agreement will contain customary terms and provisions for assets at this stage of development, including an initial license consideration, milestone payments, royalties on sales and sublicensing terms.

SCT Annual and Special Meeting

The company's Annual and Special Meeting of shareholders will be held today at 3:00 pm in the company's offices at 96 Skyway Avenue, Toronto, Ontario, M9W 4Y9. The meeting will include an audio broadcast. To access, please use the following details:

About Cancer Stem Cells:

The cancer stem cell (CSC) concept postulates that the growth of tumors is driven by a rare population of dedicated cells that have stem cell-like properties, including self- renewal. While the bulk of a tumor consists of rapidly proliferating cells and differentiated cells, neither of which is capable of self-renewal, a small population of CSCs provides for long-term maintenance of the cancer. Although the CSC concept was first postulated in the 1960s, it wasn't until 1994 that proof of their existence was demonstrated, when Dr. John Dick and colleagues in Toronto isolated CSCs (known as leukemic stem cells, or LSCs) from bulk acute myeloid leukemia cells. More recently, CSCs have been identified in many other human malignancies, including solid tumors such as bladder, brain, breast, colon, ovarian and prostate cancers. There is accumulating evidence that CSCs are resistant to conventional chemotherapies and radiation. Thus, CSCs are thought to be responsible for a phenomenon well known to oncologists: most patients will experience an initial response to conventional chemotherapies but will ultimately relapse. To cure cancer CSCs need to be destroyed, but the current armament of therapies is poorly equipped to do so.

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Stem Cell Therapeutics Strengthens CD47 Franchise With Acquistion of Complementary Antibody Program

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