Cancer drug discovery and development
Cancer drug discovery and development
Marsala Biotech Inc. is a Winnipeg, Canada, based new drug discovery and development company, concentrating on new treatments for cancer. The Company's lead technology, E10A, is an investigational gene therapy agent that utilizes an adenovirus vector to deliver the endostatin gene. E10A is being evaluated in patient populations to treat head and neck cancer, which accounts for 6% of all malignancies in the United States. A Phase II clinical trial of E10A in head and neck cancer patients (n=140) has been completed in China. E10A in combination with chemotherapy, significantly increased the Disease Control rate, and prolonged the median Time to Progression and median Progression Free Survival in these patients, as compared to chemotherapy alone.
Phase II/III clinical trials of E10A are expected to be initiated by 2015 in North America.
Download the executive summary to learn more about Marsala Biotech and E10A.
Cancer chemotherapy strives to cause a lethal cytotoxic event in the cancer cell that can arrest a tumour's progression. The attack is generally directed against metabolic sites essential to cell replication including, for example the availability of purines and pyrimidines that are the building blocks for DNA or RNA synthesis. Ideally these anticancer drugs should interfere only with cellular processes that are unique to malignant cells. Unfortunately most currently available anti-cancer drugs do not specifically recognize neoplastic cells, but rather affect all proliferating cells, both normal and abnormal.
Gene therapy is a technology which uses DNA as a pharmaceutical agent to supplement or alter genes within an individual as a therapy to treat disease. Marsala's product E10A uses the Endostatin gene to prevent angiogenesis (blood vessel growth), and shut off the nutrient supply to tumors, starving the tumors and leading to tumor shrinkage.
Marsala Biotech has an in-house drug discovery program to develop new chemical entities (NCEs) for the treatment/management of cancer.
Dr. Thomas has over 18 years of experience in research leadership and strategic planning in the areas of bio-pharma R&D, molecular diagnostics and therapeutic target discovery and validation. Dr. Thomas has held senior executive positions at Torrent Pharmaceuticals Research Centre, India, where he led teams responsible for setting up in vitro and in vivo assays, managing outsourced studies, pharmacokinetic and toxicological studies and clinical trials. In addition, he has been responsible for the scientific evaluation of various assays/technologies for license or acquisition from industry and academia. In his role with CentreStone Ventures, a life science focused venture capital fund, Dr. Thomas has been actively involved in the scientific assessment and feasibility of various business opportunities, sourcing new opportunities, and taking leadership positions with investee companies. Dr. Thomas received his Master of Pharmacy degree and Ph.D. from the Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences, Pilani, India. He received his post-doctoral training at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto.
Mr. Kinley is responsible for the financial operations of Marsala through its contract with Genesys Venture, Inc. Previously, Mr. Kinley was Manager, Financial Reporting at Manitoba Telecom Services Ltd. (MTS). His responsibilities included the review and distribution of external quarterly and annual financial statements, internal financial statements and board reporting packages. He was also significantly involved in the conversion from Canadian Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS). Mr.Kinley has extensive experience working with publicly traded entities, having provided financial reporting services for a number of stock exchange listed real estate investment trusts (REITs) from 2006 to 2008. Prior to this time he was an Audit Senior at Ernst & Young, LLP. Mr Kinley is a Chartered Accountant and holds a B.Comm (Honours) degree from the I.H. Asper School of Business (University of Manitoba).
Jan-Ake Westin is an accomplished clinical scientist and business executive with close to 40 years experience in the life science industry. He is highly skilled in Clinical Program Development, Effective Conduct of Clinical Trials, Good Clinical Practices, and topics related to Life Science Business Strategies.
Mr. Westin received his Pharmacy Degree and M.Sc. in Social Pharmacy from the University of Uppsala, Sweden. He has a long list of post-graduate studies which include Business Management, Clinical Trial Methodology, Pharmacokinetics, and Good Clinical Practices. He has held major management positions in several of the leading Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and Contract Research Organizations in the US, Canada and Europe.
Dr. Nancy Stewart obtained her B.Sc. (Hons.) in human genetics from the University of Manitoba, M.Sc. from McMaster University, and Ph.D from the University of Manitoba. While at the U of M, she examined the role of p53 and its control over cell cycle progression. Dr. Stewart has over 15 years experience in drug development. She first worked at Viventia Biotech as a Regulatory Scientist, in oncology preclinical (in vitro and in vivo), clinical and regulatory areas. Subsequent to this, she served as a Project Manager at Medicure Inc., and after that as Senior Project Manager at Clinical Development Solutions; She has overseen the management of both domestic and international clinical trials, Phase 1 –3, in a number of clinical areas.
Dr. Choy joined Marsala Biotech in 2012. He has published papers about molecular biology of cancer drug resistance; molecular control of gene expression, control through both basic and tissue-dependent transcription factors; embryonic developmental gene control; and the field of bioinformatics. After completing his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at the Manitoba Institute of Cell Biology, University of Manitoba, Dr. Choy was a National Cancer Institute of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow at U. Massachusetts Medical School. He was an Instructor at Harvard Medical School and at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and has held research positions at the NEB Bone and Joint Institute and BIDMC Genomics and Proteomics Group.
Dr. Friesen holds a Ph.D. in Protein Chemistry from the University of Manitoba. As the first full time employee and President of the Winnipeg Rh Institute he oversaw the development and initial pharmaceutical approval of WinRho. Dr. Friesen has also been instrumental in founding several health industry companies including Novopharm Biotech Inc. (now Viventia Biotech Inc.), Genesys Pharma Inc., and KAM Scientific Inc. In 1997, he co-founded Medicure Inc. and currently serves as the Company's CEO and Chairman. Dr. Friesen's noteable achievements include the establishment of several GMP production facilities for the production of human pharmaceuticals. He has also managed and initiated the research and clinical development of numerous pharmaceutical candidates, including more than 15 INDs and 2 successful NDAs. Dr. Friesen is a founder of the Industrial Biotechnology Association of Canada (IBAC) and past Chairman of its Board of Directors. He has been a member of the Industrial Advisory Committee to the Biotechnology Research Institute in Montreal. Dr. Friesen has an extensive network within the international biotechnology and corporate finance communities.
Mr. Enns is Vice President, Operations for CentreStone Ventures, an early stage life science focused venture capital fund based in Winnipeg, Canada. He currently holds an executive position with a TSX Venture Exchange listed company, Miraculins Inc., and was involved with bringing that company public in 2002. Mr. Enns has held senior management positions with a number of early stage biotech companies over the last 12 years, prior to which he was employed in the banking industry with a focus on lending and financial management. Mr. Enns obtained his Bachelor of Commerce (Hons.) degree from the University of Manitoba. He currently sits on the board of a number of life science companies along with two of CentreStone Ventures' investee companies, Orasi Medical, Inc. and Marsala Biotech Inc.
Marsala Biotech is located at 7-1250 Waverley St., Winnipeg, MB near McGililvary Ave.