• Posted Thursday March 31, 2011

TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare researchers discover microRNA role in brain metastasis

TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare researchers discover microRNA role in brain metastasis

Predictive Biomarker Sciences supports work of ENDECE and Unibioscreen

MESA, Ariz. - April 1, 2011 - Predictive Biomarker Sciences (PBS-Bio) decodes the workings of drugs made by two private firms in abstracts presented this week at the 102nd annual conference of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The conference runs April 2-6 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla. The joint presentations will be given on April 5.

In one abstract, PBS-Bio shows how the drug UNBS1450, made by Unibioscreen, a Belgian firm, affects two genes - MCL1 and MYC.

In the other abstract, PBS-Bio shows how the drug NDC-1308, made by ENDECE, a Mequon, Wis., company, holds great promise as an anti-cancer therapeutic because of the multiple ways it attacks cancer cells.

To improve the determination of the functional dynamics of cells' responses to drugs, PBS-Bio has developed technology that allows gathering data from living cells using fluorescent reporter technology. This technology allows highly sensitive measurements to be made in real time, showing the changes that might occur for an individual cell or for a population of cells, said Dr. Edward Smith, founder and CEO of PBS-Bio, which is owned in part by the non-profit, Phoenix-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).

In the case of Unibioscreen's UNBS1450, PBS-Bio showed how the drug reduces the expression of these two genes, MCL1 and MYC, allowing the natural cycle of cellular death called apoptosis to resume. The out-of-control proliferation of cells is a prime symptom of cancer.

"The presence of MCL1 can be used as a stratification, or predictive, biomarker to help determine which cancer patients are most likely to respond to UNBS1450," said Dr. Smith. This would be particularly beneficial, Dr. Smith said, in selecting patients to participate in clinical trials of UNBS1450, and ultimately in helping physicians decide who should be placed on the drug once it is approved for general use.

In the case of ENDECE'S NDC-1450, PBS-Bio found that the company's lead compound targets molecular "bioswitches" that control metabolic pathways impacting cancer cell growth. PBS-Bio also may help ENDECE determine which cancer patients might be the best candidates for the drug, and gain an understanding of what current cancer drugs, if any, would be appropriate candidates for combination drug therapies.

To jump-start drug development, PBS-Bio's analysis helps pharmaceutical companies better understand how their drugs work, and identifies biomarkers that can help predict which patients will respond to treatment.

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About PBS-Bio
Predictive Biomarker Sciences Inc. (PBS-Bio) is a privately held corporation based in Mesa, Arizona, and founded in 2006 with funding from private investors, mostly based in Arizona. In addition to Dr. Bittner, a biologist, and Dr. Smith, a medical doctor, the TGen/PBS-Bio collaborative team includes Dr. Edward Dougherty, an electrical engineer and the other Co-Director of TGen's Computational Biology Division. The three began their collaborations while working under TGen President and Research Director Dr. Jeffrey Trent when Dr. Trent was the Scientific Director of the National Human Genomics Research Institute in Bethesda, Md. Their professional relationships continued after TGen was founded in Phoenix in 2002. For more information, please visit: www.pbs-bio.com.

Press contact:
Dr. Ed Smith, M.D.
President and CEO
[email protected]


About TGen
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, please visit: www.tgen.org

Press Contact:
Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer
[email protected]

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