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MPI and Alion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. establish partnership to develop Drug Response Predictors for ion channel inhibitors in Oncology

Horsholm, Denmark, Nov. 5, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Medical Prognosis Institute A/S (MPI) (Denmark and Phoenix, AZ, US) and Alion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Alion) (Belmont, California) announced today their first partnership to develop a specific Drug Response Predictor useful to identify cancer patients likely to respond to an undisclosed ion channel inhibitor for the treatment of certain cancers.

MPI has developed a highly validated systems-biology-based biomarker platform, the Drug Response Predictor (DRP(TM)), that is useful for identifying likely responding patients for targeted enrollment of cancer drug clinical trials.

Alion is developing a pipeline of innovative ion channel inhibiting compounds for the treatment of certain cancers. Iron channels regulate specific stages of cancer establishment and progression. Blocking channel activity impairs the growth of some tumors.

Under the partnership, MPI will employ its DRP(TM) platform technology to identify a predictive biomarker specific for Alion's lead ion channel inhibitor, and the developed biomarker may then be used to select and enroll likely-responder patients in a Phase I trial for the drug.

"We are thrilled to partner with Alion in order to advance the clinical development of its promising ion channel inhibitor, and to advance a new paradigm in cancer drug development by designing and conducting clinical trials around a targeted population of patients identified, via our diagnostic platform, as the patients most likely to respond to this drug based on their tumor biology," said Professor, Peter Buhl Jensen, M.D., CEO of MPI.

Dr. Allan Bates, Ph.D., CEO of Alion Pharmaceuticals further commented: "This project underscores Alion's commitment to the development of precision cancer drugs by employing cutting-edge companion diagnostics to identify and enroll the right patients in order to conduct successful clinical trials with patients that will actually benefit."

"We are confident that the DRP(TM) biomarker to be developed for Alion's lead ion channel inhibitor will enable the identification and selection of likely responding patients for the drug, and we look forward to confirming this as the Phase I trial unfolds," noted Dr. Steen Knudsen, Ph.D., CSO and Co-Founder of MPI.

About MPI

Medical Prognosis Institute, advances personalized medicine by partnering with cancer drug developers to apply its DRP(TM) diagnostic platform to streamline and de-risk clinical trials and drug development via biomarker optimization, patient stratification, and development of companion diagnostics.

About Alion Pharmaceuticals

Alion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is developing innovative, small molecule inhibitors of ion channels and integral membrane proteins to enable novel treatment approaches for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.

About MPI's genetic response profile called Drug Response Predictor - DRP(TM)

MPI's lead product DRP(TM) is a tool to develop tumor-derived gene signatures that may predict which cancer patients are high likely responders to a given anticancer product. The DRP(TM) has been tested in 26 trials where 22 trials showed that the DRP could predict which patients had a positive effect of the treatment. The DRP(TM) has also been externally validated and published in collaboration with leading statisticians at the MD Anderson Cancer Center. The DRP(TM) method can be used to design the Clinical Development Plan i.e. to select which indications are relevant for a given anticancer drug. Further to and in addition to this, individual patient's gene patterns can be analyzed as part of a screening procedure for a clinical trial to ensure inclusion of patients who have a high likelihood of response to the drug. The DRP(TM) method can be used in all cancer types and has been patented for more than 60 anticancer drugs in the US in 2013.

This collaboration does not change the financial outlook for 2014.

For further information, please contact

CEO Peter Buhl Jensen, Professor, MD, Ph.D.

E-mail: pbj@medical-prognosis.com

Cell Phone: (+45) 21 60 89 22

Certified Advisor: Carsten Yde Hemme, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Strandvejen 44, 2900 Hellerup, Denmark

MPI and Alion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. establish partnership http://hugin.info/158657/R/1868892/656932.pdf

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Source:Medical Prognosis Institute