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Circadian Granted Key Strategic VEGF-D Patent in USA for Diagnostic Applications

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Circadian Technologies has reported that its subsidiary company, Vegenics Limited, has been granted US Patent 7785803 claiming diagnostic kits for the detection of VEGF-D in human samples such as blood.

VEGF-D, a major novel target for cancer and other diseases, has been shown to be a prognostic indicator of survival or disease progression in a number of different cancer types as well as a biomarker for various respiratory diseases.

Circadian is currently undertaking collaborative studies with a number of groups worldwide as part of its development of VEGF-D diagnostics.

Robert Klupacs, CEO, said “the use of targeted therapies in human healthcare is becoming more prevalent. In line with this trend, regulatory bodies and clinicians are increasingly in need of validated diagnostic tests to identify selected biomarkers and therefore assess a patient’s likelihood to respond to these therapies.”

“VEGF-D’s role as a biomarker in cancer and other diseases is becoming more widely recognised. As such, the development and availability of a VEGF-D diagnostic test could have many important applications in improving the effectiveness of a wide array of potential targeted approaches, including Circadian’s own treatments in development.”

“This patent adds to our considerable estate of intellectual property covering VEGF family members, in particular building on the US patent granted to us last year covering VEGF-D antibodies.”

“It is an important protection for our internal programs and represents a major asset for commercial partnerships with other companies seeking to pursue the use of VEGF-D as a biomarker.”

Vegenics owns worldwide rights to an extensive intellectual property portfolio covering angiogenesis targets VEGF-D, VEGF-C and the receptor protein VEGFR-3.

VEGF-D, along with the molecule VEGF-C, are the only known proteins to bind and activate VEGFR-3 which drives lymphatic vessel and tumour-associated blood vessel growth.

Inhibitors of VEGF-C and/or VEGF-D thus have therapeutic potential to inhibit not only primary tumour growth through their anti-angiogenic activities, but to also inhibit tumour spread or metastasis via the lymphatic vessels – a mechanism of tumour dissemination that is often the deadliest aspect of many tumour types and a mechanism that is not effectively blocked by anti-VEGF-A or anti-VEGFR-2 therapeutics.

The patent granted to Vegenics announced today adds to an existing patent granted in August 2009 in Japan claiming the VEGF-C protein, VEGF-C gene and antibodies to VEGF-C as well as the use of these molecules in a broad spectrum of therapeutic indications, including the treatment of cancer.

This Japanese patent, together with the large number of VEGF-C patents granted in the United States and Europe, provides the Group with a major commercial advantage and access to the world’s major pharmaceutical markets. Japan is the world’s second largest market for pharmaceuticals after the USA comprising around 11%.

Source: Circadian Technologies