Bionomics Provides BNC101 Update at US Cancer Stem Cell Conference

| Source: Bionomics Limited

ADELAIDE, Australia, Feb. 11, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Bionomics Limited (ASX:BNO) (ADR:BMICY) Vice-President of US Operations and Cancer Biology, Dr Peter Chu, will provide an update on the BNC101 LGR5 cancer program at the Molecular Med TriCON "Targeting Cancer Stem Cells" 2013 meeting in San Francisco, USA, 11-15 February.

As a result of Bionomics' acquisition of Biogen Idec's San Diego spinout Eclipse Therapeutics, Bionomics acquired ET-101, a Cancer Stem Cell (CSC) targeting antibody, now referred to as BNC101. Following the completion of IND enabling studies, BNC101 is anticipated to enter clinical trials in 2014.

Highlights of today's presentation include:

  • Overview of Bionomics' validated CSC Rx Discovery platform used to discover BNC101 and other promising anti-CSC therapeutic candidates in Bionomics' oncology pipeline
  • Introduction to LGR5, a high value cancer stem cell target
  • Lineage tracing experiments performed in Professor Hans Clevers' laboratory at the Hubrecht Institute, Netherlands, provide direct, functional evidence that LGR5 marks cancer stem cells in mouse intestinal adenomas (Science, 2012)
  • LGR5 is highly overexpressed in colorectal cancer (CRC), as well as esophageal, stomach, liver and pancreatic cancer (PlosOne, 2012)
  • High expression of LGR5 correlates with significantly increased likelihood of relapse in CRC (Cell Stem Cell, 2010)
  • Data from BNO and independent academic investigators indicate that LGR5 is a functional CSC target in CRC and other tumours including metastatic triple-negative breast cancer (Nature Medicine, 2011)
  • Introduction to BNC101, a humanised monoclonal antibody, has demonstrated functional activity against CSCs from primary CRC patient samples:
  • BNC101 significantly reduces in vivo CSC frequency in serial re-implantation studies and significantly prevents re-growth in long term (6 months) studies
  • BNC101 increases survival and inhibits weight loss in a cachexic CRC tumour model
  • BNC101 is highly active in vivo against CSCs from CRC patient tumours with multiple underlying gene mutations
  • BNC101 does not show any evidence of toxicity in a preliminary safety analysis
  • BNC101 clinical strategy is to target CRC and other solid tumours expressing LGR5 where there is a high rate of relapse within 12 months of standard of care therapy

Dr Chu will also chair the Tuesday 12 February morning session entitled "Translational Considerations" and "Updates from the Clinic", that includes a list of highly respected cancer stem cell experts from Verastem, Oncomed, Dainippon Sumitomo, Immunocellular Therapeutics and Pfizer.

In addition, Bionomics' scientist Dr Kristen Smith will give a seminar during the Tuesday afternoon short course session on "Identification & Characterization of Cancer Stem Cells".   

About Bionomics Limited

Bionomics (ASX:BNO) is an Australian based international biotechnology company which discovers and develops innovative therapeutics for cancer and diseases of the central nervous system. Bionomics has small molecule product development programs in the areas of cancer, anxiety, memory loss and autoimmune disorders, several of which are in or approaching clinical development stage. Its oncology approach includes cancer stem cell therapeutics as well as vascular disruption in solid tumours.

BNC105, which is undergoing Phase II clinical development for the treatment in a range of solid tumour types, is based upon the identification of a novel compound that potently and selectively restricts blood flow within tumours. BNC105 offers blockbuster potential if successfully developed. A clinical program is also underway for the treatment of anxiety disorders and depression based on IW-2143(BNC210), a novel compound which stimulates neurite outgrowth. IW-2143 is partnered with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals.

Bionomics' discovery and development activities are driven by its four proprietary technology platforms: Angene®, a drug discovery platform which incorporates a variety of genomics tools to identify and validate novel angiogenesis targets (involved in the formation of new blood vessels); MultiCore®, a diversity orientated chemistry platform for the discovery of small molecule drugs; ionX® , a set of novel technologies for the identification of drugs targeting ion channels for diseases of the central nervous system; and CSC Rx Discovery™, which identifies antibody and small molecule therapeutics that inhibit the growth of cancer stem cells. These platforms drive Bionomics' pipeline and underpin its established business strategy of securing partners for its key compounds.

Factors Affecting Future Performance

This announcement contains "forward-looking" statements within the meaning of the United States' Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any statements contained in this presentation that relate to prospective events or developments, including, without limitation, statements made regarding Bionomics' development candidates BNC105, IW-2143 (BNC210), BNC101 and BNC375, our acquisition of Eclipse Therapeutics and ability to develop products from their platform, its licensing deal with Ironwood Pharmaceuticals, drug discovery programs and pending patent applications are deemed to be forward-looking statements. Words such as "believes," "anticipates," "plans," "expects," "projects," "forecasts," "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements.

There are a number of important factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from those indicated by these forward-looking statements, including risks related to our available funds or existing funding arrangements, a downturn in our customers' markets, our failure to introduce new products or technologies in a timely manner, Ironwood's decisions to continue or not continue development of IW-2143, regulatory changes, risks related to our international operations, our inability to integrate acquired businesses and technologies into our existing business and to our competitive advantages, as well as other factors. Results of studies performed on competitors products may vary from those reported when tested in different settings.

Subject to the requirements of any applicable legislation or the listing rules of any stock exchange on which our securities are quoted, we disclaim any intention or obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of developments occurring after the date of this presentation.

Bionomics Limited

Dr Deborah Rathjen
CEO & Managing Director
+618 8354 6101 /
0418 160 425

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Rudi Michelson
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Lauren Glaser
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