Peregrine is currently advancing the proprietary exosome-based cancer diagnostic technology, licensed from UT Southwestern Medical Center in July 2016, with the goal of developing an optimized test for further clinical testing. As part of these efforts, the company is in the process of seeking a strategic partner for collaboration on developing and commercializing the technology. The platform is based on the diagnostic potential of tumor exosomes, which are small vesicles from tumor cells that are released into the blood as tumors grow. Tumor derived exosomes have PS on their surface as a detectable marker. It is believed that even small tumors begin to release PS-positive exosomes and thus the ability to detect these exosomes in the blood may be an indicator of the presence of a tumor.
In the study published by Oncotarget, plasma samples from 34 patients with ovarian tumors and 10 healthy subjects were analyzed for the presence of PS-expressing exosomes in a blinded test. Results demonstrated that those patients with malignant ovarian cancer displayed significantly higher blood PS exosome levels than those with benign tumors (median 0.237 vs. -0.027, p=0.0001) and the malignant and benign groups displayed significantly higher blood PS exosome levels than the healthy subjects (median 0.237 vs -0.158, p<0.0001 and -0.027 vs -0.158, p=0.0002, respectively).
“These initial proof-of-concept results are encouraging as they appear to support the underlying concept that the measurement of PS-positive exosome levels in blood could be a simple way to detect and monitor cancer. While the work is still early, we think these data serve as an important first step in highlighting the diagnostic potential of this platform,” said Steven W. King, president and chief executive officer of Peregrine. “This type of diagnostic technology is particularly important in an area such as ovarian cancer, in which screening options are limited and the ability to detect the disease at an early stage is inadequate. We look forward to continuing to explore the potential of the technology platform in ovarian as well as other types of cancer.”
“There is a significant and growing interest in the healthcare industry around the ability to detect cancer and monitor its progression with more readily accessible blood tests. With this area being one of the fastest growing segments of the oncology diagnostics market, we believe that our exosome-based technology represents a significant product development and licensing opportunity,” stated Stephen Worsley, vice president of business development at Peregrine. “Based on the fact that PS is a marker associated with a broad range of cancer types, we believe our platform has potential applications in several solid tumors beyond ovarian cancer. With that in mind, we look forward to aligning with a partner to help explore the potential of this promising technology.”
About Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Peregrine Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company committed to improving the lives of patients by delivering high quality pharmaceutical products through its contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) services and through advancing and licensing its investigational immunotherapy and related products. Peregrine’s in-house CDMO services, including cGMP manufacturing and development capabilities, are provided through its wholly-owned subsidiary Avid Bioservices, Inc. (www.avidbio.com), which provides development and biomanufacturing services for both Peregrine and third-party customers. The company is also working to evaluate its lead immunotherapy candidate, bavituximab, in combination with immune stimulating therapies for the treatment of various cancers, and developing its proprietary exosome technology for the detection and monitoring of cancer. For more information, please visit www.peregrineinc.com.