Armour Therapeutics releases new findings on first-in-class cancer treatment

MaRS-supported company’s hormonal therapy could help improve survival rates for prostate and breast cancers

Toronto, April 22, 2013 – Toronto biopharma company Armour Therapeutics is releasing exciting new research surrounding the treatment of reproductive cancers, to be presented at Chicago’s BIO International Convention on April 24, 2013.

“Armour has exciting data showing that our lead compound, AT-001, is impairing human prostate tumour growth by approximately 60 per cent in animal models of androgen-independent prostate cancer, where leading anti-hormonals on the market, like abiraterone acetate and enzalutamide, may not be effective treatment options,” says Dr. Anton Neschadim, Director of Drug Development for Armour Therapeutics. “Given the unique mechanism-of-action of AT-001, we are also finalizing some breakthrough research in our preclinical breast cancer studies showing that this compound can result in significant reduction in metastases.”

Depending on the stage of the cancer at diagnosis, surgery and radiation therapy are often important first steps in the treatment of prostate cancer. However, most patients are ultimately placed on a hormone therapy regimen. While this treatment will effectively control growth, prostate cancer cells inevitably grow resistant to androgen therapy (i.e. androgen-independent). “Approximately 40-50 per cent of prostate cancer patients will eventually develop androgen-independent prostate cancer, with average survival estimated at just 18 months,” says Dr. John Trachtenberg, Director of the Prostate Cancer Centre at the Princess Margaret Hospital in Toronto, and a member of Armour’s Advisory Board. “Therefore, there is a significant unmet need for new, non-androgen, anti-hormonal strategies for the management of prostate cancer.”

AT-001 is unique in that it dually targets two hormonal pathways; this combined mechanism is more potent in impairing tumour growth. Patients who have progressed to hormone-refractory prostate cancer and who are no longer sensitive to androgen depravation therapy (anti-hormone therapy) may benefit from this type of treatment.

“AT-001 is designed to maintain an anti-androgen effect in patients developing resistance to currently marketed anti-hormonals, with the additional benefit of blocking the relaxin hormone pathway, which in turn reduces tumour growth, impairs angiogenesis, constricts tumoral blood flow and reduces the risk for metastasis,” says Dr. Josh Silvertown, CEO and founder of Armour Therapeutics Inc. “We have accumulated very exciting preclinical data and look forward to discussing this with interested parties at BIO.”

Armour is a client of MaRS Discovery District’s Life Sciences and Healthcare practice, which provides advisory services and support to help Ontario life sciences companies grow and commercialize their businesses.

“MaRS has been instrumental in helping Armour succeed by providing an excellent ecosystem tailored for emerging life sciences companies,” says Dr. Silvertown.

Armour is attending BIO, which runs from April 22-25, as part of the Ontario delegation led by the Minister of Research and Innovation, which is showcasing Ontario’s most promising and innovative biotechnology companies. Armour will present at 2pm ET on April 24 as part of the Canadian Showcase Series 2013.

About Armour Therapeutics Inc.
Armour Therapeutics Inc. is a Canadian biopharmaceutical company leading the development of a new class of anti-hormone therapeutics for the treatment of reproductive-tissue-based cancers. Armour’s lead compound, AT-001, developed at the University Health Network and Ontario Cancer Institute in Toronto, is a non-androgen, anti-hormone therapy for patients who develop hormone-refractory prostate cancer. Armour is also developing compounds for its AT-012 and AT-027 programs targeting breast and ovarian cancers, respectively. Privately-held Armour Therapeutics is based in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

About MaRS
MaRS Discovery District (@MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies.

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Melissa Hughes
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416.673.8100 ext. 2710