TORONTO, Sept. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: LOR) (the
"Company"), a clinical-stage company developing new therapeutics and
molecular diagnostics that target the underlying mechanisms of cancer,
today announced that it has changed its name to "Aptose Biosciences
The Company's name change reflects its new focus and clinical-stage
pipeline strategy, as an oncology research and development organization
advancing new therapeutics and molecular diagnostics based on insights
into the genetic profiles of certain cancers and patient populations.
The Company's lead product, APTO-253 (formerly LOR-253) exerts its
antitumor effects by activating a key apoptotic pathway in tumor cells.
The term "apoptosis" represents the innate self-killing capacity of
cells triggered upon the onset of cellular damage, and cancer cells
employ various mechanisms to avoid apoptosis. For these reasons,
"apoptosis" is the intuitive root of the name of "Aptose Biosciences."
In addition, the Company's stated goal with respect to the name change
is to align the product portfolio and product development with the
strategic course set by its new management team.
"Aptose will be guided by the underlying scientific mechanisms and
clinical expertise necessary to develop important new anticancer
therapeutics. Our efforts will be further fortified by the application
of new molecular diagnostic tools customized to our pipeline programs,"
said William G. Rice, Ph.D., Chairman, President and Chief Executive
Officer. "Today, with the support of our Board and voting
shareholders, the Company is dedicated to developing APTO-253 with the
opportunity to contribute to the treatment of AML and other serious
hematologic cancers, as well as advancing select earlier stage
The Board of Directors and the shareholders of the Company approved the
name change. The Toronto Stock Exchange also conditionally approved
the name change and it is expected that the common shares of the
Company will commence trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the
new name and the trading symbol "APS" on or about September 3, 2014.
APTO-253 is a novel small molecule that has demonstrated potent
anti-tumor activity in cancer cells via tumor suppressor induction
leading to cell cycle inhibition and programmed cell death. APTO-253
has been shown to induce the tumor suppressor gene Krüppel like factor
4 (KLF4) and expression of p21, resulting in cell cycle arrest and
apoptosis. Nonclinical pharmacology studies have demonstrated in vivo anti-tumor activity in solid tumors and hematologic cancers. Aptose
has completed a Phase 1 study in patients with advanced or metastatic
solid tumors in which promising clinical activity was observed.
A vast majority of patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) exhibit
down-regulation of KLF4 expression, which is directly associated with
leukemogenic events, or the onset of leukemia. In addition to AML, a
similar function for KLF4 as a tumor suppressor factor has been
reported in adult T-cell leukemia, lymphoma, multiple myeloma and
high-risk MDS. Induction of KLF4 expression may therefore be an
effective therapeutic option in these patient populations. Aptose is
planning to commence a Phase 1b clinical study with escalating doses of
APTO-253 followed by two disease-specific expansions planned in adults
with hematologic malignancies in 2014.
About the Company
The Company is a clinical-stage biotechnology company committed to
discovering and developing personalized therapies addressing unmet
medical needs in oncology. The Company is advancing new therapeutics
focused on novel cellular targets on the leading edge of cancer
research coupled with companion diagnostics to identify the optimal
patient population for our products. The Company's small molecule
cancer therapeutics pipeline includes products designed to provide
additive or synergistic efficacy with existing anti-cancer therapies
and regimens without overlapping toxicities.
Forward Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Canadian and U.S. securities laws including regarding the
Name Change. Such statements include, but are not limited to,
statements relating to the Company's plans, objectives, expectations
and intentions and other statements including words such as "continue",
"expect", "intend", "will", "should", "would", "may", and other similar
expressions. Such statements reflect our current views with respect to
future events and are subject to risks and uncertainties and are
necessarily based upon a number of estimates and assumptions that,
while considered reasonable by us are inherently subject to significant
business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties and
contingencies. Many factors could cause our actual results, performance
or achievements to be materially different from any future results,
performance or achievements described in this press release. Such
expressed or implied forward looking statements could include, among
others: our ability to obtain the capital required for research and
operations; the inherent risks in early stage drug development
including demonstrating efficacy; development time/cost and the
regulatory approval process; the progress of our clinical trials; our
ability to find and enter into agreements with potential partners; our
ability to attract and retain key personnel; changing market
conditions; and other risks detailed from time-to-time in our ongoing
quarterly filings, annual information forms, annual reports and annual
filings with Canadian securities regulators and the United States
Securities and Exchange Commission.
Should one or more of these risks or uncertainties materialize, or
should the assumptions set out in the section entitled "Risk Factors"
in our filings with Canadian securities regulators and the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission underlying those
forward-looking statements prove incorrect, actual results may vary
materially from those described herein. These forward-looking
statements are made as of the date of this press release and we do not
intend, and do not assume any obligation, to update these
forward-looking statements, except as required by law. We cannot assure
you that such statements will prove to be accurate as actual results
and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in
such statements. Investors are cautioned that forward-looking
statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly
investors are cautioned not to put undue reliance on forward-looking
statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
SOURCE: Lorus Therapeutics Inc.
For further information:
Greg Chow, CFO
Karen L. Bergman or Susan Pietropaolo
650-575-1509 or 845-638-6290
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com