Telix Pharmaceuticals, University of Melbourne and Peter Mac to Collaborate on Colorectal Cancer

North Melbourne, AUSTRALIA

MELBOURNE, Australia, Aug. 24, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX.TLX) (“Telix”, the “Company”) has today announced a research collaboration with the University of Melbourne to investigate the use of targeted radiopharmaceuticals or “molecularly-targeted radiation” (MTR) to provide improved treatments for colorectal cancer patients.

The collaboration will be led by Associate Professor Frederic Hollande (University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research) and Professor Alexander Heriot (Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre).

The research program will explore the role of a tumour associated antigen, carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX), in metastatic colorectal cancer. CAIX could be used as a potential pathway for new and more targeted diagnostic and therapeutic applications of Telix’s TLX250 (Girentuximab) program, currently under development for renal cancer. As with many cancers1, high expression of CAIX in colorectal cancer tumours is a prognostic indicator for poor outcomes for patients treated with the currently available therapies2.

Telix’s Director of Research and Development, Dr. Michael Wheatcroft, stated, “As part of our ongoing R&D strategy, we are committed to exploring potentially new indications for our programs. TLX250 imaging and therapy has potential in colorectal cancer where conventional radiation oncology strategies can be more limited, particularly for highly invasive disease. Using PET to more accurately stage patients and then deliver molecularly-targeted radiation to very sensitive tissues could prove to be a better option for patients than external beam radiation.”

Professor Heriot noted: “Around 25 percent of colorectal cancer patients initially present with metastatic disease, and another 25 percent will develop subsequent metastases after being originally treated for a local stage of the disease. Unfortunately, over 80 percent of patients presenting with metastatic disease have unresectable metastases and systemic chemotherapy remains insufficiently effective to treat these patients, resulting in a very poor survival outlook. There is therefore a pressing need for alternative approaches to better target and treat these metastatic tumours.”

Associate Professor Hollande added: “This pilot research project will more precisely explore CAIX expression in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer by correlating immunohistochemistry and RNA profiles of surgical resection specimens. This will enable us to understand how CAIX expression changes as a function of tumour growth, including through the study of organoids grown in the lab from actual patient metastasis samples.”

1 van Kuijk et al. (2016) Front Oncol. 6: 69
2 Korkeila et al. (2009) Br J Cancer. 100(6): 874–880

About Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited

Telix Pharmaceuticals Limited (Telix) is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of diagnostic and therapeutic products based on targeted radiopharmaceuticals or “molecularly-targeted radiation” (MTR). The company is headquartered in Melbourne with international operations in Brussels (EU), Kyoto (JP) and Indianapolis (US). Telix is developing a portfolio of clinical-stage oncology products that address significant unmet medical need in renal, prostate and brain (glioblastoma) cancer. Telix is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX:TLX). For more information visit

About TLX250 (89Zr / 177Lu-Girentuximab)

Telix’s TLX250 program is based on the use of an anti-carbonic anhydrase IX (CAIX) antibody (girentuximab), to deliver diagnostic (89Zr for PET imaging) and therapeutic (177Lu) radiation to patients with CAIX-positive tumours. A number of Phase I, II and III trials have successfully explored the utility of girentuximab-targeted radiation delivery for clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC) and Telix is preparing to commence a multi-centre Phase III imaging trial (89Zr-girentuximab), with a bridging study already in progress.

While CAIX has a long, well-known association with tumour aggressiveness, hypoxia and disease severity in ccRCC patients, it has also been identified as a cancer-specific marker in more than 20 different cancer types. A recent meta-analysis evaluated data from 24,523 patient samples over 147 independent, published studies and revealed statistically significant correlations between CAIX expression and patient endpoints including overall survival and progression-free survival1.

About the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research

Led by Professor Sean Grimmond, the University of Melbourne Centre for Cancer Research (UMCCR) brings together leading cancer researchers from across the University of Melbourne to drive collaboration and achieve improved outcomes for cancer patients. The Centre’s research targets key points along the patient journey, from cancer diagnostics, defining the cause of familial disposition, selection of optimal therapies, combatting recurrence, and palliative care.

About the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre

Peter Mac is one of the world’s leading cancer research, education and treatment centres globally and is Australia’s only public hospital solely dedicated to caring for people affected by cancer. The centre has over 2,500 staff, including more than 580 laboratory and clinical researchers, all focused on providing better treatments, better care and potential cures for cancer.

Important Information

This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell, or a solicitation of an offer to buy, securities in the United States, or in any other jurisdiction in which such an offer would be illegal. The securities referred to herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933 (the “US Securities Act”), or under the securities laws of any state or other jurisdiction of the United States and may not be offered or sold within the United States, unless the securities have been registered under the US Securities Act or an exemption from the registration requirements of the US Securities Act is available. None of the products referred to in this release have obtained a marketing authorization from the TGA or FDA.


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