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New approach to cancer treatment shown to be highly effective


Attacking novel S1P target eliminates cancerous tumors in some cases

An antibody developed by San Diego-based Lpath Therapeutics, Inc. could someday treat many of the deadliest solid and liquid tumors. This unique monoclonal antibody, called SphingomabTM, was tested in several animal models of human cancer and was shown to significantly retard cancer growth on a consistent basis; in some cases, it eliminated the tumor altogether.

According to Roger Sabbadini, Founder and Chief Scientific Officer of Lpath Therapeutics, the company has developed a monoclonal antibody against sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P) and has validated S1P as a therapeutic target for cancer. Lpath is now preparing to seek FDA approval for human trials.

The results of two studies supporting this novel approach to cancer therapy were released at the 96th Annual Meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Anaheim, California on April 18. One of the studies was presented by Gordon Mills, M.D., Ph.D., of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center. Dr. Mills has pioneered the study of the important role that lysolipids (like S1P) play in the growth and metastasis of cancer cells.

According to Dr. Mills, the most deadly, multi-resistant cancers--including lung, breast, melanoma, and ovarian cancers--responded well to the SphingomabTM approach of targeting S1P. The SphingomabTM treatment not only blocked the effects of S1P on the cancer cells themselves, but also prevented tumor angiogenesis, which is the formation of new blood vessels that feed the growing tumor.

Lpath Therapeutics believes that interfering with sphingolipid function can result in clinically relevant therapeutic outcomes. Sphingolipids are structural and multifunctional lipid mediators largely involved in signaling activities required for normal cellular function. However, sphingolipids can become dysfunctional and thereby contribute directly to the pathophysiology of cancer, inflammation, and cardiovascular diseases.

Lpath Therapeutics, Inc. was founded in 1998 at San Diego State University based on the work of Dr. Sabbadini in the area of sphingolipid research. Lpath initially focused on the role of sphingolipids in cardiovascular disease and later expanded its research around sphingolipids to treat a broad range of diseases, including cancer.

Dr. Roger Sabbadini | EurekAlert!
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