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SDSU research could hinder growth of cancer tumors

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A San Diego State University (News) researcher, Roger Sabbadini, has created an antibody that hinders the growth of tumors by preventing blood vessel formation, the school announced Monday.

As published in the March 14 issue of Cancer Cell, a leading oncology journal, Sabbadini and his research team have created an antibody, Sphingomab, that can be used as a drug to reduce the size of tumors in experimental animal models of human cancer. The antibody works as a molecular sponge by soaking up sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), a molecule that has been proven to stimulate the growth of new blood vessels, SDSU said of the research.

S1P has been identified as a mediator of tumor cell proliferation and protector of tumor cells from chemotherapy drugs. By neutralizing S1P, the Sphingomab antibody inhibits the new blood vessel formation that tumors require to thrive, a process called 'tumor angiogenesis.'

The group's research tested the antibody in mice tissue implanted with drug-resistant human breast, ovarian and lung cancer cell lines, as well as a mouse skin cancer cell line, according to SDSU. In ovarian cancer models, two of five subjects displayed no tumors, and three subjects had tumors with 68 percent less volume than those in the control group. Tumors were reduced by about 60 percent in volume in lung and breast cancer models.

"This groundbreaking research provides new hope for therapeutic treatments for forms of cancer that are resistant to current therapeutics," Sabbadini said. "The Sphingomab antibody is especially powerful as it is shown to prevent tumors from a variety of cancers, as opposed to being effective against only one type of cancer."

Sabbadini's previous sphingolipid research led to the founding of Lpath Inc. (OTC: LPTN.OB, News)

"It has become a dream of mine to be a part of great anti-cancer research, as my mother is a cancer survivor," said Bradley Sibbald, a master's degree candidate in SDSU's molecular biology program and a co-author of the study. "With the creation of this antibody, I now have a new investigative tool to help cure cancers with liquid tumors, which is the focus of my current research."

The research team was primarily comprised of current and former students of SDSU, as well as researchers affiliated with Lpath Inc. Besides Sibbald, other authors of the study include Barbara Visentin, John Vekich, Amy Cavalli and Kelli Moreno, all former SDSU students. Other contributing researchers include Rosalia Matteo and William Garland, both with Lpath Inc., and University of Texas Anderson Cancer Center researchers Shuangxing Yu, Yiling Lu, Hassan Hall, Vikas Kundra and Gordon Mills.

Sabbadini will present the team's findings at the annual conference for the American Association of Cancer Researchers, April 1 - 5, in Washington D.C. Additionally, Lpath Inc. is preparing an application to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval to use the antibody for human clinical trials.

Lpath is a theranostics company focused on bioactive signaling lipids as targets for treating and diagnosing important human diseases.

Snapshot: San Diego State University

5500 Campanile Drive

San Diego, CA 92182-8080

Phone: 619-594-5200

Web: http://www.sdsu.edu

SDSU is the oldest and largest institution of higher education in the San Diego region.

Founded: 1897

Degrees

Bachelor's: 81

Master's: 72

Doctorates: 16.

Students: 33,000


Snapshot: Lpath Therapeutics Inc

6335 Ferris Sq., Suite A

San Diego, CA 92121

Phone: 858-678-0800

Fax: 858-678-0900

Web: http://www.lpath.com

In Their Own Words

Lpath Therapeutics Inc. is an emerging San Diego-based drug discovery company with a focus on bioactive lipids as targets for treating human diseases. Lpath's lead product candidate is a monoclonal antibody (mAb) against sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), an innovative target for cancer treatment. It is the first and only monoclonal antibody ever developed against any lysolipid, an extremely important subcategory of lipids.

Executive, Position(s)

Scott Pancoast: President and Chief Executive Officer

Roger A. Sabbadini, Ph.D.: Chief Scientific Officer

Bill Garland: Vice President of Research and Development

Company Type

Publicly traded on the OTC Bulletin Board.

Stock Price History

Not available for this firm.

Income Statement

Not available for this firm.

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