Alizé Pharma, a group of companies developing innovative therapeutics for metabolic diseases and cancer, has developed an improved L-asparaginase product with increased potency, reduced immunogenicity and longer duration of action. The product, Asparec, involves the use of a state-of-the-art PEGylation technology. Key preclinical data supporting the development of this product as second line therapy in ALL will be presented at the 51st ASH Annual Meeting to be held in New Orleans, LA on December 5-8, 2009.
Alizé’s Asparec program focuses on a PEGylated r-crisantaspase product that has the potential to significantly impact the L-asparaginase market by becoming the reference product for second line therapy. L-asparaginases are widely used in the treatment of ALL. But although Escherichia coli -derived L-asparaginase products are used as first line therapy, there is a high incidence of allergic and immunogenicity reactions, requiring the use of second line products, such as Erwinia chrysanthemi-derived L-asparaginase (crisantaspase).
Key results to be presented at ASH indicate that the Asparec product is ideally suited as second line therapy, as it is structurally similar to crisantaspase, but is both longer acting and less immunogenic thanks to its PEGylated nature. Results of pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic studies in mice revealed that the Asparec product was at least 50 times more potent and was longer-acting than crisantaspase (Erwinase) in depleting blood asparagine levels. In addition, PEGylation markedly reduced the immunogenicity vs Erwinase as assessed by the antibody titers measured during eight weeks of chronic treatment in mice.
“The preclinical results for our Asparec program are indicative of a therapeutic potential, fulfilling important medical needs for ALL patients,” says Alizé Pharma president and founder, Thierry Abribat. “They also show Alizé Pharma has a real business opportunity to take a leading position in the L-asparaginase market space. We will be actively seeking a commercial partner early in the development process according to our business strategy and to ensure timely take-up of the opportunity.”
Date: November 17, 2009
Source: Alizé Pharma
Filed Under: Drug Discovery