ADELAIDE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Australian biotech company Ferronova announced today that it has signed a licensing agreement with the Purdue Research Foundation (PRF) for the application of PRF’s patented Fibroblast Activation Protein (FAP) inhibitor in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and MRI-guided therapies.
The licensing agreement will bring together Ferronova’s patented FerroTrace® platform, a super-paramagnetic iron-oxide nanoparticle (SPION) formulation, and PRF’s patented FAP inhibitor in a combination to be applied in targeted radiotherapy of difficult cancers with complicated treatment margins such as glioblastoma, prostate cancer and pancreatic cancer.
“Purdue researchers are the driving force behind world changing innovations, and our partnership with Ferronova serves as yet another testament to our dedication to partnering with companies that can improve the world and save lives with Purdue technologies,” said Brooke Beier, senior vice president of Purdue Innovates. “This is an example of intellectual property protection from the laboratory of a world-renowned Purdue innovator, and we are excited about the boundless potential of many more Purdue technologies that will make an impact.”
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In recent years, FAP has received increasing attention as a cancer treatment target, due to its prominent expression in solid tumours but virtual absence from healthy tissues.1 Led by renowned researcher Philip Low, the Presidential Scholar for Drug Discovery and Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor for Chemistry at the Purdue University College of Science’s Department of Chemistry, researchers at Purdue University developed an FAP inhibitor that works by inhibiting a pathway associated with the formation of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs), cells that regulate tumour growth. In addition to reducing CAF formation, the inhibitory agent also reduces collagen I formation, a protein that is associated with tumour growth.2
“This licensing and collaboration agreement is great news as it signals a new approach in targeted radiotherapy for the treatment of glioblastoma,” said Associate Professor Hien Le, a radiation oncologist at South Australia (SA) Health, Head of Research at the Department of Radiation Oncology at Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH), and Associate Professor at the University of South Australia. “We look forward to the collaboration and progressing the new approach to the clinic to see how the combination of FerroTrace® and the FAP inhibitor will impact practice in glioblastoma.”