Center for Developmental Therapeutics collaborates with UT-Tyler and NHLBI SMARTT Program to develop new drug for reversing a defect in clot clearance in pleural loculation

Rockville, MD (June 14, 2012) – Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL) will perform process development and cGMP manufacturing of recombinant scuPA, an enzyme therapy candidate for patients with pleural loculation or scarring surrounding the lung. scuPA reverses a defect in clot clearance that characterizes pleural loculation. The program is led by Dr. Steven Idell of The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler in collaboration with Dr. Andrew P. Mazar and the Center for Developmental Therapeutics at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL. ABL will develop the production cell line and manufacturing process followed by scale-up and manufacture of toxicology and cGMP clinical materials. The materials produced at ABL will be used to support an IND, and will be used in clinical trial testing.

This project is being funded in whole with federal support from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), under the Science Moving TowArds Research Translation and Therapy (SMARTT) program (Contract No. HHSN268201100014C). ABL is the biologics production facility for the five-year SMARTT program. The program is designed to fill product development gaps to propel clinic-ready products. SMARTT consists of the biologics production facility at ABL, a production facility for non-biologics and small molecules, a pharmacology/toxicology center, and a coordinating center.

Dr. Thomas VanCott, ABL’s President and Chief Executive Officer stated, “ABL is privileged to be working with Dr. Idell and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler in support of the scuPA program. This is an exciting product with the potential to prevent numerous surgeries with associated serious morbidity.”

Dr. Idell said, ”This is an exciting project that is the culmination of twelve years of bench science now being developed as a novel therapeutic agent. We are most pleased to be working with our expert partners at ABL to move this new NIH SMARTT project forward, and hope it will be a key step that will introduce new and better therapy for pleural loculation into clinical practice."

About The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (UTHSCT)
UTHSCT is one of six University of Texas health institutions. The institution is nationally recognized for its scientific programs in lung injury research, infectious lung diseases and comprehensive clinical programs in chest diseases, environmental medicine, and cancer. Educational highlights at UTHSCT include popular family medicine, internal medicine, and occupational medicine residency training programs and a new master’s program in biotechnology has been initiated. A number of investigators partnered with Dr. Idell at The Texas Lung Injury Institute to move the scuPA project forward, including Dr. Idell’s collaborators on his $8 million Program Project Grant from the NIH. New therapeutics for pleural disease are being developed by Dr. Idell, Dr. Mazar, Dr. Andrey Komissarov, and colleagues on an ongoing NIH CADET grant from the NHLBI.

About the Center for Developmental Therapeutics at Northwestern University
The Center of Developmental Therapeutics (CDT), under the umbrella of the Chemistry of Life Processes Institute (CLP), was founded in 2009 with the mission of enhancing the translational mission of the University and becoming an entry portal for pre-clinical drug development. Operating under the leadership of its founding director, Dr. Andrew Mazar, the Center initially focused on cancer drug development but has now expanded beyond the Robert H. Lurie Comprehensive Cancer Center (RHLCC) to serve all clinical and basic sciences researchers in the NU community as well as collaborators at other academic institutions. The CDT interfaces between basic, translational, and clinical scientists to provide assistance with the development (bench to clinic including IND process) of internal translational projects or external (outside Northwestern) academic projects of interest to Northwestern investigators. The CDT also works in collaboration with the Innovations and New Ventures Office (INVO) to facilitate commercialization of NU therapeutic technologies. These tasks include assisting in the formation of new, spin-out companies based on Northwestern University technologies or on projects based on collaboration with other universities and industry; contributing to the due diligence process; assisting companies in developing business plans, raising capital and formulating development plans; business development including road shows and presentations for potential partners and investors; and performing value-added studies on specific therapeutic compounds to advance them further through development by addressing specific questions that represent barriers to deal completion.  Learn more about the CDT.

About the NHLBI
The NHLBI stimulates basic discoveries about the causes of disease, enables the translation of basic discoveries into clinical practice, fosters training and mentoring of emerging scientists and physicians, and communicates research advances to the public. It creates and supports a robust, collaborative research infrastructure in partnership with private and public organizations, including academic institutions, industry, and other government agencies. The Institute collaborates with patients, families, health care professionals, scientists, professional societies, patient advocacy groups, community organizations, and the media to promote the application of research results and leverage resources to address public health needs. The NHLBI also collaborates with international organizations to help reduce the burden of heart, lung, and blood diseases worldwide.  Information for the SMARTT program is also available on the NHLBI website at http://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/new/SMARTT.htm.

About ABL
Advanced BioScience Laboratories, Inc. (ABL) is a Maryland-based biomedical contract research and manufacturing organization dedicated to advancing the development of therapeutics, vaccines and other biologic products. ABL has extensive experience working with diverse organizations, including various government and academic entities and commercial bio/pharmaceutical companies. Notable services include basic research, product design, process and assay development, preclinical in vivo models (including immunomonitoring), and Phase I/II cGMP biologics manufacturing. Since 2001 ABL has been a part of the Institut Mérieux, a group of four companies dedicated to developing translational science for better patient care globally. For more information on ABL and our services, please visit our website at www.ablinc.com.

ABL Contact: Andrew Arrage
Vice President, Business Development
301.816.5209