MONTREAL, July 12, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — CQDM, the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and Theratechnologies today announced close to CAN $2 million of funding for a collaborative research project that aims to demonstrate the efficacy and safety of a potential innovative treatment for patients affected by metastatic cancer. This public-private partnership is made possible through a grant of $824,130 from the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation (MEI) via CQDM, a donation of $186,600 from the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and a contribution of $21,000 from Mitacs. It also includes a contribution of $796,610 from Theratechnologies, as part of the company’s annual multi-million-dollar investment in the development of its oncology therapeutic platform using TH1902.
The project will be led by Professor Borhane Annabi at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and builds directly on the success of a previous CQDM-funded study also involving Professor Annabi’s and Theratechnologies’ teams. This earlier work led to the development of TH1902, a new therapeutic approach against cancer that is still in development. TH1902 enables the delivery of the chemotherapeutic agent directly into cancer cells through the recognition and internalizing function of a protein called sortilin, which is overexpressed on the surface of the cells. These major scientific advances have driven the launch of clinical studies in patients suffering from hard-to-treat solid tumors, such as patients with triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). In order to capitalize on the results obtained to date and as sortilin is also overexpressed on the surface of metastatic cells, the new project will evaluate the therapeutic potential of the compound in several metastatic cancer models. If the hypothesis of the teams is confirmed, the project will increase the spectrum of cancer patients who could benefit from this new therapy.
Today’s announcement will allow Theratechnologies, a Montreal-based company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies, to further cultivate the potential of TH1902 – its main peptide-drug conjugate. As a result of the combined academic and industry expertise, this initiative ultimately could strengthen the therapeutic arsenal available to patients affected by various types of cancers at different stages that too often remain incurable, as is the case in triple-negative breast cancer.
“This research project has the potential to improve the quality of life of many people with cancer and that is no small feat! Much work remains to be done, and we will continue to support the companies and organizations that are working tirelessly to develop new therapeutic avenues to improve the quality of life of Quebecers,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy and Innovation and Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development.
“CQDM is very pleased to contribute to the achievement of this new project led by exceptional research teams that have already demonstrated their ability to accomplish and surpass the targeted objectives. We are fully confident that this renewed collaboration will lead to crucial advances in the fight against metastatic cancer, a major step in improving the prognosis of patients with advanced and difficult-to-treat cancers,” said Diane Gosselin, President and CEO of CQDM.
“A diagnosis of triple-negative breast cancer can be devastating and comes with many fears and uncertainties about the future – both for the woman diagnosed and for her family and friends – and unfortunately, there have been few treatments available,” said Karine Iseult Ippersiel, President and CEO of the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. “We are thrilled that this new potential treatment option brings a sense of hope for the future and the prospect of a better quality of life for women living with this disease.”
“We are delighted to be part of this innovative partnership with key players in the Quebec life sciences community. Our oncology platform originates from local research and leverages a unique and very promising new receptor called sortilin. The enormous potential of TH1902 to treat several types of cancer motivates us to accelerate its development in metastatic and hard-to-treat cancers. This collaboration will allow us to increase its potential to change the lives of those touched by such a devastating disease,” said Paul Lévesque, President and Chief Executive Officer of Theratechnologies.
“It is with great humility and optimism that our team of oncology researchers is committed to meeting this new challenge. A better understanding of the molecular mechanism of action of TH1902 will indeed allow us to evaluate its ability to bypass treatment-resistant properties and eventually contribute to minimizing recurrence in patients,” said Borhane Annabi, Professor at UQAM and holder of the Chair in Cancer Prevention and Treatment.
CQDM is a biopharmaceutical research consortium whose mission is to fund the development of innovative technologies and tools to accelerate the discovery and development of safer and more effective drugs. It provides a hub where major global pharmaceutical companies, several Canadian biotechnology companies, the best researchers from the public and private sectors, as well as the governments of Quebec and Canada converge. CQDM’s collaborative approach allows it to meet the needs for innovation funding in the academic and private sectors, particularly in the early stages of research. Information – Website: cqdm.org,
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About the Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation
The Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation (QBCF) is the only philanthropic organization that ensures that the benefits of its research investments in the fight against breast cancer are invested here in Quebec. For more than 28 years, it has raised more than $60 million, which has been distributed here for the benefit of cutting-edge research and to defend the interests of people with breast cancer and their families. Through research and innovation, support, and awareness, it places people with breast cancer and their families at the heart of its mission. Researchers, volunteers, employees, donors and families, all bound by the same hope: A future without breast cancer.
Theratechnologies (TSX: TH) (NASDAQ: THTX) is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of innovative therapies addressing unmet medical needs. Further information about Theratechnologies is available on the Company’s website at www.theratech.com; on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov
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This press release contains forward-looking statements and forward-looking information (collectively, “forward-looking statements”) within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements regarding the development of TH1902 and a treatment for patients with sortilin-expressing tumors. Although the forward-looking statements in this press release are based on assumptions that the Company believes are reasonable based on the data currently available to it, any investor should not place undue reliance on these statements. The assumptions underlying the forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond Theratechnologies’ control, that could cause actual results to differ materially from those that are disclosed in, expressed or implied, by the forward-looking statements contained in this communication. Current and potential investors are invited to refer to the “Risk Factors” section of Theratechnologies’ Annual Information Form dated February 23, 2022 available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov as an exhibit to its report on Form 40-F dated February 24, 2022 under Theratechnologies’ filings for additional risks regarding the business.
TH1902 is an investigational peptide conjugate that has not received any regulatory approval for commercialization, including from Health Canada.
The Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) is a French-language university. UQAM is a dynamic, open, creative university with an international outreach. It is recognized for the originality and quality of its programs, its cutting-edge research, solidly grounded in social concerns, and its innovation in the arts. The University’s researchers, working in more than a hundred research and creative units, are awarded numerous prizes and distinctions each year.
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