NEW YORK, March 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative cancer therapies, today announced that it has filed two new method of treatment patent applications with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) to cover methods of treating brain tumors as well as cancers expressing a mutant form of RAS protein through administration of the Company's lead compound, Plinabulin.
"These latest patent applications represent another important step in our Plinabulin IP strategy and in our increasing efforts to maximize the value of our lead asset. With our recently-filed immuno-oncology patent, the new applications collectively demonstrate our commitment to expanding the therapeutic scope of Plinabulin," said Dr. Lan Huang, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of BeyondSpring. "As we have further studied Plinabulin at the mechanistic and molecular levels, we have discovered additional applications which give us a great deal of excitement for the drug's long-term potential and validate our initial belief that it represents a unique pipeline in a drug. As no drugs have been approved in Ras mutant cancers or metastatic brain tumor, we plan to launch clinical trials in these indications later this year, with the goal of addressing these significant unmet medical needs."
The patent for method of treating a brain tumor relates to using Plinabulin to treat metastatic brain tumor and glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in particular. Furthermore, the patent relates to several claims specific to methods of destroying brain tumor cells, including overall treatment through administration of Plinabulin to patients.
The second patent, for method of treating cancer associated with a RAS mutation, claims the use of Plinabulin in treating patients with cancers expressing a mutant form of KRAS or NRAS proteins.
"Our early research of Plinabulin in genetically engineered mouse models for glioma with the same histologic characteristics as human glioblastoma, which we have modified for expression of KRAS (G12D mutation), demonstrated encouraging anti-tumor activity," added Dr. Eric Holland, Director, Solid Tumor Translational Research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Director of Alvord Brain Tumor Center at the University of Washington. "Single agent Plinabulin treatment in this model showed significant long term survival rate as relative to the control group (p=0.01). This level of favorable long-term survival has not been detected with other therapies in these GBM models previously. Therapeutic options leading to long-term survival for glioblastomas have not emerged in the last 50 years. Plinabulin may represent a potential breakthrough to address the significant unmet medical need in this form of cancer. We look forward to working with BeyondSpring to further evaluate Plinabulin's potential as a treatment for brain tumors."
About BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals
BeyondSpring Pharmaceuticals is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of innovative cancer therapies. BeyondSpring is focused on the advancement and commercialization of Plinabulin, a novel, Phase 3-ready cancer therapeutic initially targeting non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Led by an expert management team consisting of pharmaceutical industry veterans from the U.S. and China, the Company is well positioned to further advance lead product candidate, Plinabulin. For more information, visit www.beyondspringpharma.com.