Roswell Park Cancer Institute, Jasco Pharmaceuticals team up on drug research

Organizations partner on preclinical testing of agent that has shown promise against solid tumors, blood cancers

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BUFFALO, N.Y.—A new partnership, first of its kind for both organizations, will see Roswell Park Cancer Institute (RPCI) and Jasco Pharmaceuticals LLC collaborating to advance development of an investigationalpharmacological therapy that shows promise for treating both solid-tumorcancers and hematologic malignancies. The affiliation will see RPCIproviding preclinical research infrastructure and services to fast-trackdevelopment of Jasco's lead agent and speed its progression to theclinical-trial phase.
The agent is known right now as JP_11646, and it is a PIM inhibitorthat targets a class of kinase enzymes that help to regulate cancer cellsurvival. In preclinical studies, JP_11646 reportedly has shown activity against solid tumors in breast, colon, liver, lung and pancreas cancersas well as multiple myeloma.
Through this partnership, Jasco,which operates from Woburn, Mass., and has its headquarters inRochester, N.Y., and RPCI will jointly pursue further preclinicaldevelopment of the agent, including pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamicanalysis to define its efficacy, its toxicity and how cellsrespond to it. The project is the first to take advantage of the Centerfor Drug Development at RPCI, a new program uniting Institute resourcesthat previously operated separately.
Dr. Kelvin Lee,Jacobs Family Chair in Immunology and co-leader of the Tumor Immunologyand Immunotherapy Program at Roswell Park, will lead a study into therole PIM kinases play in CD28 signaling pathways, a survival mechanismthat is a major cause of resistance to frontline multiple myelomatreatments. 
"This collaboration brings Jasco's unique kinaseinhibitor platform together with Roswell Park's comprehensive expertisein the development of novel therapies for oncology and the treatment ofpatients," says Jasco Pharmaceuticals CEO Eugene Baldino."It's a great fit, and one that I know will reduce the developmenttimeline of this promising agent, making it available to patientssooner."
"Our goal is to get the therapy to cancer patients through a phase I clinical study within one year," notes Dr. Alex Adjei, senior vice president for clinical research and director of the Centerfor Drug Development at RPCI, and the American Society of ClinicalOncology's inaugural Conquer Cancer Foundation Drug DevelopmentProfessor. "It's an ambitious but totally realistic goal given theresources for preclinical and clinical research that exist at RPCI andthe tremendous progress Jasco has made on this agent so far."
SOURCE: Jasco/Roswell news release

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