Southampton, UK – 1 October 2007 – Innovative pharmaceutical company Karus Therapeutics Ltd has entered a co-development agreement with EOS SpA (Milan, Italy) to discover and develop new anti-cancer drugs based on Karus’s unique therapeutics platform. As part of the collaboration, Karus and EOS aim to develop a new drug through human Phase IIA cancer trials before securing a development and marketing partner.
Karus is developing new medicines to treat cancer and inflammatory disease. The company’s first programs are built on a new class of high-potency histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor known as OS-HDI. There is intense pharmaceutical industry interest in HDAC inhibitors, which can slow abnormal tumor-cell growth, cause tumor cell death and correct abnormal cell differentiation. Karus’s OS-HDI drugs are thought to be the most potent histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitors known. They are highly selective for HDAC, have a distinctive efficacy profile and are well tolerated in vivo. Consequently, Karus believes that these compounds have best-in-class potential in the treatment of cancer and inflammatory disease.
Karus’s OS-HDI are expected to offer patients the promise of a potent and safer treatment for cancer and inflammatory diseases. Karus has two development programs, one in cancer and one in psoriasis and has initiated further programs in other disease areas, including rheumatoid arthritis and organ transplant rejection.
“We are delighted to have signed this agreement with EOS” said Dr Simon Kerry, Chief Executive of Karus Therapeutics, “there is a strong synergy between the two companies and we believe that this collaboration will strongly benefit our cancer program”.
Karus was created in July 2005 to develop a new family of highly potent, optimized HDAC inhibitors that were identified at the University of Southampton and Cancer Research UK as part of collaborative research conducted between Professor Graham Packham, Dr Ganesan and Dr Paul Townsend.
EOS is a biopharmaceutical company committed to the development of novel medicines for the treatment of cancer, comprising a team of serial bio-entrepreneurs and experienced biotechnology professionals with decades of experience in translational medicine and success in oncology drug development.