New drug aims to ‘seek and destroy’ many types of cancer

October 28, 2009

| More

EP-100 tested by TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare

SCOTTSDALE – A new drug designed to “seek and destroy” common cancers such as breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, skin and testicular cancers is being tested at TGen Clinical Research Services (TCRS), a partnership of the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare.

The Phase 1 clinical trial will help determine if EP-100 is safe and effective for use among patients with solid cancer tumors, with fewer side effects than chemotherapy or radiation treatment.

According to Ramesh K. Ramanathan, MD, principal investigator for the trial at Scottsdale Healthcare, the drug is a membrane-disrupting peptide (tMDP) designed to “seek and destroy” cancer cells by targeting those with excessive luteinizing hormone releasing hormone (LHRH) receptors.

Excessive LHRH receptors are found in a wide range of cancers, including breast, prostate, endometrial, pancreatic, ovarian, skin and testicular cancers.

The study is designed to evaluate the safety of EP100 and will enroll as many as 36 adult patients with solid tumors whose tumor biopsies indicate that they have excessive LHRH receptors.

EP-100 will be administered intravenously for three out of four weeks. Once the maximum tolerated dose has been established, additional subjects with specific diagnoses of either breast, ovarian, endometrial, pancreatic or prostate cancer will be enrolled. EP-100 is produced by Esperance Pharmaceuticals of Baton Rouge, La., and was culled from a range of drugs tested at TGen Drug Development Services (TD2) in Scottsdale.

The clinical trials could show that EP-100 is effective with certain types of cancer, according to Dr. Steve Gately, president and chief scientific advisor at TD2.
“Perhaps there is a genetic context under which certain patients may be more responsive. We want to find those patients.’’

Dr. Hector Alila, president of Esperance, said, “Preclinical studies of EP-100 demonstrated this candidate’s efficacy across multiple indications in oncology, including aggressive cancers known to be resistant to the current standards of care and, importantly, studies of EP-100’s mechanism-of-action support that it targets and selectively kills cancer cells without harming normal cells.”

More about the trial can be found at