Lorus Therapeutics Announces Publication of a Clinical Study Demonstrating Encouraging Results with LOR-2040 in Combination with Cytarabine in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)

    - Study also points to potential of pre-treatment R2 levels as a
    possible predictor of clinical activity -

    TORONTO, July 2 /CNW/ - Lorus Therapeutics Inc. (TSX: LOR, AMEX:   LRP)
("Lorus" or the "Corporation"), a biopharmaceutical company specializing in
the research and development of pharmaceutical products and technologies for
the management of cancer, today announced publication by an Ohio State
University (OSU) clinical team of a paper entitled "Phase I Study of GTI-2040,
an Antisense to Ribonucleotide Reductase, in Combination with High-Dose
Cytarabine in Patients with Acute Myeloid Leukemia" (Clinical Cancer Research
2008; 14 (12): 3889-3895). This was the first clinical study in AML with
GTI-2040, now known as LOR-2040.
    The primary author, Dr Rebecca Klisovic and the Principal Investigator,
Dr Guido Marcucci, in the Division of Hematology and Oncology at OSU carried
out the study under the sponsorship of the National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Cancer Therapy Evaluation Program (CTEP). Lorus is collaborating with the
Division of Cancer Treatment and Diagnosis, NCI on the development of LOR-2040
under a Clinical Trials Agreement. All patients in the study received LOR-2040
and high dose cytarabine in therapeutic doses within a dose escalating design,
which determined a well-tolerated recommended Phase II dose.
    In this study, the authors examined the relationship of the targeted
activity of LOR-2040 to clinical responses in AML patients less than 60 years
of age. Downregulation of R2, the target of LOR-2040, after 24 hours of
LOR-2040 was statistically significant and was associated with complete
remission. The authors have also now reported for the first time that outcomes
of complete response were associated with high pre-treatment levels of R2,
which were statistically significant compared to nonresponders. This finding
suggests that pre-treatment R2 levels may be a predictor of response, and
provide a possible basis for treatment stratification to LOR-2040 and high
dose cytarabine combination.
    Favorable disease responses included complete responses in 35% of the 23
patients and significant cytoreduction of leukemic blasts in two others. As a
further favourable outcome, these two patients and five of the patients who
had complete responses were able to progress to a successful transplant, a
desired outcome of successful salvage therapy. Notably, the study population
included unfavourable patients with at least one adverse prognostic
    The clinical study also measured intracellular uptake of LOR-2040 in the
bone marrow leukemic cells, and identified significant accumulation of the
drug in the bone marrow blast cells and suggested preferential uptake of the
drug by CD34+ cells, an important malignant bone marrow cell population.
    The authors concluded that LOR-2040 in combination with high dose
cytarabine is feasible, is active against its target R2, and "holds promise in
younger patients with refractory or relapsed AML". The tolerability profile of
this combination regimen was assessed as similar to that expected from high
dose cytarabine alone.
    "This successful clinical study has provided a detailed supporting
rationale for our ongoing development program with LOR-2040 in AML", said Dr
Aiping Young, Lorus' President and CEO. "This study supports Lorus' view that
a highly specific targeted therapy approach can achieve efficacy with minimal
impact on toxicity".
    A Phase II program with LOR-2040 in this combination is presently ongoing
to extend and confirm these findings in patients with refractory or relapsed

    About LOR-2040

    LOR-2040 (formerly GTI-2040) is an antisense drug that specifically
targets the R2 component of ribonucleotide reductase, which is required for
DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. Through downregulation of R2, LOR-2040
has demonstrated strong antitumor and antimetastatic activity in a variety of
tumor types in both in vivo and in vitro models and is under study in a
multiple Phase I/II clinical program. R2 has been described as a malignant
determinant that is elevated in a wide range of tumors, which can cooperate
with a variety of cellular cancer causing genes known as oncogenes to enhance
tumor growth and metastatic potential.

    About Lorus

    Lorus is a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research and
development of novel therapeutics in cancer. Lorus' goal is to capitalize on
its research, preclinical, clinical and regulatory expertise by developing new
drug candidates that can be used, either alone, or in combination with other
drugs, to successfully manage cancer. Through its own discovery efforts and an
acquisition and in-licensing program, Lorus is building a portfolio of
promising anticancer drugs. Lorus Therapeutics Inc. is listed on the Toronto
Stock Exchange under the symbol LOR, and on the American Stock Exchange under
the symbol LRP.

    Forward Looking Statements

    This press release may contain forward-looking statements within the
meaning of Canadian and U.S. securities laws. Such statements include, but are
not limited to, statements relating to: our research program plans, our plans
to conduct clinical trials, the successful and timely completion of clinical
studies and the regulatory approval process, our ability to fund future
research, our plans to obtain partners to assist in the further development of
our product candidates, the establishment of corporate alliances, the
Company's plans, objectives, expectations and intentions and other statements
including words such as "continue", "believe", "plan", "expect", "intend",
"will", "should", "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 that may be expressed or implied by such
forward-looking statements, including, 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 Annual
Information Form 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
    Lorus Therapeutics Inc.'s recent press releases are available through the
Company's website at www.lorusthera.com. For Lorus' regulatory filings on
SEDAR, please go to www.Sedar.com. For SEDAR filings prior to July 10, 2007
you will find these under the company profile for Global Summit Real Estate
Inc. (Old Lorus).

For further information:

For further information: Lorus Therapeutics Inc., Dr. Saeid Babaei,
(416) 798-1200 ext. 490, ir@lorusthera.com

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