Aphios Collaborates with Japanese Companies on Orally Bioavailable Anticancer Therapeutic
July 19, 2005
Woburn, MA — Aphios Corporation today announced that it has entered a Research and Development collaboration with two Japanese companies, Bio Research Corporation of Yokohama, Yokohama, Japan and Tokyo Supply, Ltd., Minato, Japan to develop an orally bioavailable anticancer therapeutic.

The collaborators plan to develop a water-soluble paclitaxel prodrug. The molecule is a combination of a paclitaxel molecule, the potent anticancer drug, and a sugar molecule that enhances solubility. This molecular combination is not bioactive prior to treatment and is significantly more water-soluble than paclitaxel. The water-soluble nature of this novel therapeutic allows for oral digestion rather than intravenous (IV) injection. After ingestion and adsorption in the gut, serum enzymes break the combined molecule down into the bioactive paclitaxel and a sugar molecule. Preclinical testing (both in in vitro cell culture experiments and in vivo animal studies) indicates that the paclitaxel prodrug is superior to paclitaxel (Taxol®) and equivalent to docetaxel (Taxotere®) in therapeutic efficacy. This paclitaxel prodrug has been patented in the United States and Japan.

The water solubility of the prodrug will obviate the need to dissolve paclitaxel in a castor oil based excipient such as that currently utilized in the IV administration of Taxol® and premedication with steroids and antihistamines. This will eliminate systemic toxicity of the castor oil and any dose-limitations associated with the castor oil excipient. Oral bioavailability will reduce the burden of hospital stay for IV infusions and allow low dose applications for therapeutic and potentially preventative use.

Tokyo Supply Company is a manufacturer and supplier of high quality paclitaxel (> 99% purity). Ensuiko Sugar Refining Co., Ltd, which is the owner of the paclitaxel prodrug patents, has 50% of the stock of Bio Research Corporation of Yokohama that conducts R&D, manages the intellectual property portfolio and supplies high purity cyclodextrin to the food and pharmaceutical industries.

Aphios Corporation is an emerging biotechnology company that is developing enhanced natural therapeutics for health maintenance and the treatment of human diseases with a focus on oncology, infectious diseases, and quality-of-life medicines.