TORONTO ¿ Lorus Therapeutics Inc. has signed an agreement with Faulding (Canada) Inc. for the development of the company¿s lead cancer compound, Virulizin, for pancreatic cancer in Canada. The agreement also grants Faulding an exclusive six-month option to negotiate a licensing agreement for Virulizin for Latin America.
Philippe Lacaille, president and CEO at Lorus, said the deal is the first major alliance for the company covering the ongoing development of Virulizin. ¿Since Faulding is a leader in injectable oncology product sales in Canada, the company was the most logical choice for us as a domestic partner,¿ he said. Faulding will be working with Lorus to evaluate the possibility of filing a regulatory submission for Virulizin as second-line treatment for pancreatic cancer in Canada, he added.
Virulizin, which is purified from bovine bile by a proprietary production process, is a potent activator of human macrophages. Specifically, it stimulates the release of cytokines (tumor necrosis factor alpha), resulting in an induction of tumoricidal function. In previous research, Virulizin was shown to activate macrophages from several different donors and anatomical sites. The product has also demonstrated activity in immune-suppressed patients, including patients receiving cytotoxic therapies.
In addition to Virulizin, Lorus is currently developing a number of anticancer compounds, called NuChem Analogues, based on a commonly used antifungal agent, clotrimazole. This technology includes the anticancer applications of clotrimazole itself. Clotrimazole has been shown to have unique anti-proliferative activities against cancer cells, including the inhibition of key steps in tumor growth and angiogenesis.