N.B Firm on Cusp of Cancer Cure

Daily Gleaner, 13 July 2013 admin July 16, 2013

Author: Lou, Ethan

Abstract […]the results are encouraging, and the firm is poised to move smoothly to marketing its cure, the firm’s chief scientific officer Jack Stewart said Friday. Because the firm is relatively small, marketing the drug will depend on partnerships with larger ones, he said.

With cancer-cure human trials well underway, a Sackville firm is allocating efforts to marketing and developing spinoff drugs.Soricimed Biopharma Inc. has been working on a cancer cure since 2005. Its drug, SOR-C13, is in Phase 1 human trials that are supposed to conclude in late fall next year. But already, the results are encouraging, and the firm is poised to move smoothly to marketing its cure, the firm’s chief scientific officer Jack Stewart said Friday.

Because the firm is relatively small, marketing the drug will depend on partnerships with larger ones, he said. The firm is in talks with many of them. Two other developments are also underway – among other spinoffs to the drug’s technology – although the main cancer drug is still the firm’s priority.

Stewart said the drug in low concentrations can act as a good delivery system for conventional cancer drugs and makes them up to twice as effective. Testing started this time last year, and is in the cell-line phase – testing in petri dishes. Animal testing is set to commence after the final report is delivered later in the month. And another development, testing for cancer through the blood – a new concept – is going through large-scale tests on human blood. Done through a partnership with the Vitalite health network, it is set to be concluded in three to four months.

Stewart said the detection works through cancer cells leaching into the bloodstream and giving off detectable biomarkers. “The bio-marker in the blood of people with cancer is significantly higher than blood of healthy people,” he said. “We can actually pick up this bio-marker very early on in the cancer process … Just to give you an example, you can pick up stage-one ovarian cancer through a blood test.”

Stewart was speaking in the wake of the firm’s annual general meeting held earlier in the week, when two new members – both with hefty corporate experience – were added to the team. Mario Thomas, an executive with more than 20 years directing corporate growth, was brought on as the vice-president of business development.Tom Reeves, who has run both public and private health-care organizations and brought firms public, was appointed to the board of directors.

Soricimed CEO Paul Gunn said the inclusion of Thomas allows the firm to dedicate a person to pursue partnering with larger firms and marketing the drug.”We’re a small company, and that previously would have fallen on my shoulders or Jack (Stewart)’s shoulders or between us,” he said.

“This gives us a dedicated resource … We respond faster, we keep discussions going quicker.”

Gunn said the firm is talking with most of the major regional and international companies, although he did not disclose details. He also said Reeves will give the firm a valuable source of advice for corporate strategy, though he will not be heavily involved in day-to-day affairs. “He has done partnerships and deals before, he has raised a lot of money before, he has taken a company public before. His background is incredibly valuable to us as we move forward.” He added that there are two different tracks – the business and the research sides – for any medical firm, which must complement each other.

The current Phase 1 for the cancer drug involves testing its safety on humans. Following that, phases 2 and 3 will test the drug’s actual cancer-fighting abilities. Gunn said that in the coming months, the firm’s goals will be to sustain the larger firms’ attention, now that it has their curiosity.

The Daily Gleaner (Fredericton)

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