Healthcare Industry News:  Magnetic Resonance Imaging 

Biopharmaceuticals Cardiology

 News Release - September 29, 2006

Published Data Show Kereos Technology Specifically Targets Arterial Plaque

Nano-Targeted Approach Combines Diagnosis and Treatment, Allows 50,000-times Smaller Dose

ST. LOUIS, Sept. 29 (HSMN NewsFeed) -- Kereos, a biotechnology company developing highly targeted diagnostic and therapeutic approaches to cancer and cardiovascular disease, announced today the publication of a preclinical study showing the ability of Kereos' technology to detect and treat atherosclerotic plaque, a primary cause of heart attack and stroke. The study, conducted at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, was published in a paper entitled, "Endothelial alpha-v-beta-3 Integrin-Targeted Fumagillin Nanoparticles Inhibit Angiogenesis in Atherosclerosis" (Winter, et al) in the September issue of the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology.

In this published study, Kereos' proprietary ligand-targeted emulsion therapeutics were targeted to sites of angiogenesis, the blood vessel growth that occurs during cancerous tumor metastasis and cardiovascular plaque formation. The ligand-targeted emulsions, made up of liquid perfluorocarbon droplets, were used to deliver both a drug and an imaging agent to the plaques and detect the level of angiogenesis within the blood vessel wall. Rabbits fed a high-cholesterol diet to induce numerous small arterial plaques were given a single treatment containing a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) agent and the anti-proliferative drug, fumagillin, which was able to reduce angiogenesis by 60 - 80%. Additionally, the plaque regions with the highest MRI signal from the combined diagnostic/therapeutic treatment also demonstrated the greatest reduction in angiogenesis over the course of the study, demonstrating that the diagnostic can be utilized to predict and measure the response to treatment.

"A plaque-fighting therapeutic with a nanotechnology-based targeting component creates a truly unique way to treat cardiovascular disease," said Samuel Wickline, M.D., a co-author on the study and co-founder of Kereos. "The highly targeted nature of this technology allows us to decrease the dose and deliver more potent drugs with potentially fewer side effects. Fumagillin is a good example because it has previously produced neurocognitive side effects at high doses, yet we were able to achieve a therapeutic effect with a vastly smaller dose than might be required without ligand-targeting. This technology may unlock other compounds that have been shelved due to toxicity issues."

"This work is extremely important as it demonstrates the possibility to extend the work we are doing with our lead candidates in cancer into the treatment of a major cardiovascular disease," explained Robert Beardsley, Ph.D., president and CEO of Kereos. "The imaging portion of the work is a further validation of our MRI candidate, KI-0001, to improve cancer diagnosis and assessment. In addition, we have begun development of the therapeutic component as KI-1003, a promising agent behind our lead candidate for cancer therapy, KI-1001."

About Kereos

Kereos develops products designed to provide more effective detection and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The first two products are expected to enter clinical trials for solid tumors late this year. The company's proprietary technology pairs diagnosis and therapy by targeting imaging agents or therapeutics specifically to the disease site. The company's targeted imaging agents allow for more accurate and sensitive imaging, and its targeted therapeutics deliver potent and precise therapy. In addition to advancing its internal pipeline, Kereos is working with leading pharmaceutical and imaging companies, including Bristol-Myers Squibb Medical Imaging on the development and commercialization of cardiovascular disease Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) agents, and Philips Medical Systems on the development of molecular imaging systems. Kereos is a privately-held company, headquartered in St. Louis at the Center for Emerging Technologies. For more information, visit

Source: Kereos

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