Click here to close now.

SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, JP Morgenthal

News Feed Item

Novogen Announces Key Appointments to Drive Development of Anti-Tropomyosin Drug Platform

Co-inventors of ATM technology joining company as General Manager of the ATM Program, Scientific Advisory Panel member, respectively

SYDNEY, Feb. 3, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Novogen Limited (ASX: NRT; NASDAQ: NVGN), an oncology drug development company, today announced the appointments of Justine Stehn, PhD and Professor Peter Gunning, PhD to roles within the Company. Dr. Stehn and Professor Gunning are the co-inventors of the anti-tropomyosin (ATM) drug technology platform that Novogen acquired in 2013, and their appointments are an important step in realizing the significant potential of this new drug platform in treating cancer.

Novogen is focused on developing two drug technology platforms: (i) ATMs as a safer and more effective alternative to taxane chemotherapy, and (ii) its proprietary platform of super-benzopyrans, a group of small molecules with high efficacy against the full breadth of cells within a tumor, including the cancer stem cells, which have been resistant to drugs and radiation up to this point.

Dr. Stehn will hold the position of Director, ATM Program, and will have full oversight over the progress of this technology into the clinic in 2015. Professor Gunning will join the Company's Scientific Advisory Panel for ATM Technology.

"I am extremely pleased to join Novogen at a crucial period in the company's development," said Dr. Stehn. "The work we have conducted thus far in understanding ATMs leads us to believe we may have discovered a new approach to cancer therapy that could potentially offer patients a safer and more effective alternative to traditional chemotherapy, but the commonly-used taxane drugs in particular. I look forward to transitioning my work in academic research to Novogen and joining a team that is dedicated to developing new cost-effective approaches to many of the most lethal forms of cancer."

Dr. Stehn and Professor Gunning made a significant breakthrough when they discovered that the microfilament components of the cytoskeleton of cancer cells are made up largely of a particular isoform of the protein tropomyosin known as Tm5NM1. Elimination of Tm5NM1 significantly impacted the growth and survival of the cancer cell without adversely effecting normal tissue.

The first generation of drug directed against this isoform resulted in a significant anti-tumor effect in animals with human tumor xenografts (melanoma, neuroblastoma), without the collateral toxicity seen with previous compounds targeting the actin microfilaments. Their work was featured on the cover of the August (2013) edition of the journal, Cancer Research.[1]

"I've dedicated my life's work to researching the cytoskeleton and developing treatments for children afflicted with cancer. I'm excited to become a part of Novogen as the Company moves this promising technology into the clinic in neuroblastoma, the most prevalent solid tumor in children. It is a great bonus that these drugs are likely to be equally effective against adult cancers such melanoma, ovarian and prostate cancer," said Professor Gunning.

During 2014, Novogen expects to file up to four Investigational New Drug (IND) applications with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its ATM technology, enabling the company to start clinical trials in 2015.

Prior to joining Novogen, Dr. Stehn was Drug Development Coordinator and group leader of the Anti-Tropomyosin Drug Development Group in Prof Gunning's Oncology Research Unit in the School of Medical Sciences at the University of New South Wales. She received her PhD from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in 2000. She was awarded a prestigious National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) CJ Martin Fellowship to support her postdoctoral positions at Harvard University and the Centre for Cancer Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

Prof. Gunning has published more than 140 research papers, and his research focuses on diseases of childhood, primarily cancer and muscle damage. He completed his PhD at Monash University on gene expression in the nervous system, and then spent nine years at Stanford University working first on neuronal differentiation and then on the regulation of the genes responsible for specifying the structure of muscle. His research group discovered that tropomyosins are used to specify the spatial and temporal properties of the cell cytoskeleton in all cells of the body.

Graham Kelly, Ph.D., Novogen Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer, said, "We are privileged to have the two inventors of this drug technology join us, and provide a considerable boost to our goal of entering the clinic with a lead candidate compound in early 2015. Their intimate knowledge of the technology, combined with our drug development experience is a very strong combination that will help us in our goal of finding new and highly effective approaches to treat many of the world's most deadly cancers."

About Anti-Tropomyosin (ATM) Drugs

ATM drugs target the tropomyosin protein component of actin microfilaments. Microfilaments, along with microtubules, form the bulk of a cell's cytoskeleton, a largely invisible structure that allows the cell to communicate internally and with neighboring cells, to move, to adhere to other cells, and to divide. Drugs targeting the cytoskeleton (micro tubular component) have been among the most widely-used drugs in oncology for over 30 years and include taxes (paclitaxel, docetaxel) and vinca alkaloids (vincristine, vinblastine). However, the range of tumor types sensitive to these drugs is limited and their action is not limited to cancer cells, with resulting dose-limiting toxicity involving the gut, bone marrow and nerves.

Novogen ATM drugs have been designed to target the Tm5NM1 isoform of tropomyosin specifically. To date, cell types such as melanoma and neuroblastoma that have a high degree of inherent insensitivity to anti-microtubular drugs (e.g. taxanes), have proved highly sensitive to ATM drugs.

About Novogen Limited

Novogen is a public, Australian biotechnology company whose shares trade on both the Australian Securities Exchange ('NRT') and NASDAQ ('NVGN').  The Company is based in Sydney, Australia, and with a U.S. office in New Haven, Connecticut. The Company has two main drug technology platforms known as super-benzopyrans (SBP) and anti-tropomyosins (ATM). SBP drugs target cancer stem cells and are being developed for the treatment of ovarian cancer and glioblastoma. ATM drugs target the cancer cell cytoskeleton and are being developed for the treatment of melanoma, prostate cancer, ovarian cancer and neuroblastoma. Novogen has entered into a joint venture with Yale University known as CanTx Inc. with the aim of developing personalized chemotherapy for patients with ovarian cancer.

Further information is available on the Company's website, www.novogen.com

For Further Information Contact:
David Carey/Tanner Kaufman
Lazar Partners Ltd.
212 867 1762
[email protected]
[email protected]  

16-20 Edgeworth David Ave, Hornsby  NSW  2077  AUSTRALIA
P.O. Box 2333 Hornsby Westfield  NSW  1635  AUSTRALIA

[1] Cancer Res 73, 5169-5182 (2013). Justine R. Stehn et al. A Novel Class of Anticancer Compounds Targets the Actin Cytoskeleton in Tumor Cells.

SOURCE Novogen Limited

More Stories By PR Newswire

Copyright © 2007 PR Newswire. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of PRNewswire content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of PRNewswire. PRNewswire shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.

Latest Stories
There's no doubt that the Internet of Things is driving the next wave of innovation. Google has spent billions over the past few months vacuuming up companies that specialize in smart appliances and machine learning. Already, Philips light bulbs, Audi automobiles, and Samsung washers and dryers can communicate with and be controlled from mobile devices. To take advantage of the opportunities the Internet of Things brings to your business, you'll want to start preparing now.
In a world of ever-accelerating business cycles and fast-changing client expectations, the cloud increasingly serves as a growth engine and a path to new business models. Dynamic clouds enable businesses to continuously reinvent themselves, adapting their business processes, their service and software delivery and their operations to achieve speed-to-market and quick response to customer feedback. As the cloud evolves, the industry has multiple competing cloud technologies, offering on-premises ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SUSE, a pioneer in open source software, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. SUSE provides reliable, interoperable Linux, cloud infrastructure and storage solutions that give enterprises greater control and flexibility. More than 20 years of engineering excellence, exceptional service and an unrivaled partner ecosystem power the products and support that help ...
As the world moves from DevOps to NoOps, application deployment to the cloud ought to become a lot simpler. However, applications have been architected with a much tighter coupling than it needs to be which makes deployment in different environments and migration between them harder. The microservices architecture, which is the basis of many new age distributed systems such as OpenStack, Netflix and so on is at the heart of CloudFoundry – a complete developer-oriented Platform as a Service (PaaS...
T-Mobile has been transforming the wireless industry with its “Uncarrier” initiatives. Today as T-Mobile’s IT organization works to transform itself in a like manner, technical foundations built over the last couple of years are now key to their drive for more Agile delivery practices. In his session at DevOps Summit, Martin Krienke, Sr Development Manager at T-Mobile, will discuss where they started their Continuous Delivery journey, where they are today, and where they are going in an effort ...
SAP is delivering break-through innovation combined with fantastic user experience powered by the market-leading in-memory technology, SAP HANA. In his General Session at 15th Cloud Expo, Thorsten Leiduck, VP ISVs & Digital Commerce, SAP, discussed how SAP and partners provide cloud and hybrid cloud solutions as well as real-time Big Data offerings that help companies of all sizes and industries run better. SAP launched an application challenge to award the most innovative SAP HANA and SAP HANA...
There is no question that the cloud is where businesses want to host data. Until recently hypervisor virtualization was the most widely used method in cloud computing. Recently virtual containers have been gaining in popularity, and for good reason. In the debate between virtual machines and containers, the latter have been seen as the new kid on the block – and like other emerging technology have had some initial shortcomings. However, the container space has evolved drastically since coming on...
The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete at launch. DevOps may be disruptive, but it is essential. The DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo – to be held June 3-5, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City – will expand the DevOps community, enable a wide...
P2P RTC will impact the landscape of communications, shifting from traditional telephony style communications models to OTT (Over-The-Top) cloud assisted & PaaS (Platform as a Service) communication services. The P2P shift will impact many areas of our lives, from mobile communication, human interactive web services, RTC and telephony infrastructure, user federation, security and privacy implications, business costs, and scalability. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Robin Raymond, Chief Architect...
The web app is Agile. The REST API is Agile. The testing and planning are Agile. But alas, Data infrastructures certainly are not. Once an application matures, changing the shape or indexing scheme of data often forces at best a top down planning exercise and at worst includes schema changes which force downtime. The time has come for a new approach that fundamentally advances the agility of distributed data infrastructures. Come learn about a new solution to the problems faced by software orga...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Chief Ar...
The world is at a tipping point where the technology, the device and global adoption are converging to such a point that we will see an explosion of a world where smartphone devices not only allow us to talk to each other, but allow for communication between everything – serving as a central hub from which we control our world – MediaTek is at the heart of both driving this and allowing the markets to drive this reality forward themselves. The next wave of consumer gadgets is here – smart, con...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to DevOps Summit 2015 as Conference Chair. The 4th International DevOps Summit will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great team at ...
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
CA Technologies has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Rally Software Development Corp. for $19.50 per share, which equates to approximately $480 million, net of cash acquired. The transaction has been unanimously approved by both Boards of Directors, and is expected to close in the second quarter of CA’s fiscal 2016. Based in Boulder, CO, Rally has approximately 500 employees across four continents and FY 2015 sales of $88 million. “Software applications are changing the...