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Polaris Group's ADI-PEG 20 is a Radiosensitizer of Pancreatic Cancer

SAN DIEGO, Jan. 27, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Polaris Group announced today that ADI-PEG 20, arginine deiminase formulated with polyethylene glycol, acts as a radiosensitizer of pancreatic cancer both in tissue culture and in mice with human pancreatic cancer. These results were presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology's Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, California. The study was performed in conjunction with collaborators at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas.

Polaris Group is conducting clinical trials on ADI-PEG 20 for the treatment of multiple indications, including metastatic melanoma, prostate cancer, and hepatocellular carcinoma. The latter indication is already in a global Phase 3 study.

"Pancreatic cancer is the third most common gastrointestinal cancer and the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the USA. Approximately 40% of these patients have locally advanced pancreatic cancer, which is usually treated with a combination of radiation and chemotherapy," said John Bomalaski, M.D., Executive Vice President of Medical Affairs at Polaris Group. "However, pancreatic cancer tends to become radio-resistant to currently available radiosensitizers. These results suggest that ADI-PEG 20 either alone or in combination with another radiosensitizer may potentially be of benefit in treating locally advanced pancreatic cancer.  ADI-PEG 20 has a novel mechanism of action and well documented tolerability that we believe makes ADI-PEG 20 an ideal candidate both as monotherapy and in combination with other agents, including cytotoxics."

About ADI-PEG 20

ADI-PEG 20 is a biologic being developed by Polaris Group to treat cancers, especially those carrying a major metabolic defect that renders such cancer cells, unlike normal cells, unable to internally synthesize arginine. Because arginine is one of the 20 amino acids that are essential for protein synthesis and survival of cells, it is believed these cancer cells become dependent upon the external supply of arginine to survive and grow. ADI-PEG 20 is designed to systemically deplete the external supply of arginine, which causes arginine-dependent cancer cells to die while leaving the normal cells unharmed. Multiple cancers have been reported to have a high degree of arginine-dependency.

About Polaris Group

Polaris Group is a privately held biopharmaceutical company that specializes in the research and development of protein drugs to treat cancer and other debilitating diseases. The company's lead therapeutic, ADI-PEG 20, is currently being evaluated in a pivotal Phase 3 trial for hepatocellular carcinoma. Polaris Group is also investigating ADI-PEG 20 as a treatment for other cancers. In addition to the ADI-PEG 20 program, Polaris Group is researching and developing other biotherapeutic agents and is advancing a small molecule drug program that utilizes a rational structure-based approach to design novel compounds that inhibit the biological function of cancer-related protein targets.

For additional information please visit www.polarispharma.com

SOURCE Polaris Group

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