OXiGENE Announces Preclinical Data Presentation on Novel Anticancer Compounds, Benzosuberenes, Demonstrating Potent Anti-Proliferative Activity

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SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., Nov. 18, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- OXiGENE, Inc. (Nasdaq:OXGN), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer, announced that researchers from Baylor University, with whom OXiGENE has a collaboration, are continuing to advance their discovery program focused on several small-molecule anticancer agents belonging to the benzosuberene class which are potent inhibitors of tubulin polymerization and are highly cytotoxic (in the picomolar to sub-picomolar range) against human cancer lines. Preclinical data presented today at the Southwest Regional Meeting (SWRM) of the American Chemical Society in Waco, TX emphasized the potential therapeutic utility of these benzosuberene compounds. The relative simplicity of their chemical structure coupled with their pronounced biological activity in vitro could enable them to be potent "payloads" in antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs) and to be used as cytotoxic agents in other targeted delivery strategies.

These benzosuberene compounds are the product of OXiGENE's ongoing collaboration with Kevin G. Pinney, Ph.D. and Mary Lynn Trawick, Ph.D. at Baylor University to identify inhibitors of tubulin polymerization as vascular disrupting agents (VDAs). OXiGENE has an exclusive license to the worldwide rights to all of the compounds that result from this collaboration.

"At Baylor, we have had a long-term program focused on small-molecule interactions with tubulin, which has led to our design and synthesis of the benzosuberene class of compounds, and discovery that several small-molecule anticancer agents of this class demonstrate pronounced cytotoxicity against a wide variety of human cancer cell lines," said Dr. Pinney. "We are encouraged by the promise that one or more of these anticancer agents may have the potential to achieve selective delivery to tumors through antibody-drug conjugate technologies."

"There is significant interest in the scientific and medical community in new molecules with utility in the ADC space as an emerging technology which holds a lot of promise to treat cancer and other areas of unmet medical need," said Peter Langecker, M.D., Ph.D., OXiGENE's Chief Executive Officer. "We are pleased with the progress our collaborators at Baylor are making in identifying the capabilities and differentiating characteristics of the benzosuberene compounds. We believe that this early-stage vascular disrupting agent research program is a valuable asset in our pipeline, and we look forward to seeing these compounds advance in preclinical testing."

The two presentations at the SWRM conference were titled:

  • Design and synthesis of benzosuberene analogues as potential vascular disrupting agents. C. A. Herdman, L. Devkota, C. Lin, C. S. George, R. Tanpure, T. E. Strecker, D. J. Chaplin, M. Trawick, K. G. Pinney
  • Investigation of benzosuberene and indole-based tubulin-binding agents that resemble combretastatin A-4 (CA4) as vascular disrupting agents. M. Trawick, K. G. Pinney, R. P. Mason, D. J. Chaplin

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having "high research activity" by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

About OXiGENE

OXiGENE is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing novel therapeutics to treat cancer. The Company's major focus is developing vascular disrupting agents (VDAs) that selectively disrupt abnormal blood vessels associated with solid tumor progression. The Company's lead clinical product, ZYBRESTAT, is in development as a potential treatment for ovarian cancer and anaplastic thyroid cancer (ATC). OXiGENE is dedicated to leveraging its intellectual property and therapeutic development expertise to bring life-extending and life-enhancing medicines to patients.

Safe Harbor Statement

This news release contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Any or all of the forward-looking statements in this press release, which include the timing of advancement, outcomes, and regulatory guidance relative to our clinical programs, achievement of our business and financing objectives may turn out to be wrong. Forward-looking statements can be affected by inaccurate assumptions OXiGENE might make or by known or unknown risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, the inherent risks of drug development and regulatory review, and the availability of additional financing to continue development of our programs.

Additional information concerning factors that could cause actual results to materially differ from those in the forward-looking statements is contained in OXiGENE's reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission, including OXiGENE's reports on Form 10-K, 10-Q and 8-K. However, OXiGENE undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise. Please refer to our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2012.

CONTACT: Investor and Media Contact: ir@oxigene.com 650-635-7000

Source:OXiGENE, Inc.