SAN ANTONIO, Feb. 9, 2015 — GenSpera, Inc. (OTCQB: GNSZ) today announced a strategic partnership with Phyton Biotech for the manufacture of thapsigargin, which is derived from the thapsia plant and is the key ingredient in the company’s investigational agent mipsagargin. Phyton Biotech will offer its Plant Cell Fermentation (PCF®) development expertise to convert the thapsia plant into a preserved, fermentable cell line with a goal of creating a sustainable source of high-quality thapsigargin.
“This partnership will revolutionize the way we obtain thapsigargin to develop our drugs, enabling us to boost supply and reduce the impurities that can arise when it is extracted from naturally grown plants,” said Craig Dionne, Ph.D., chief executive officer at GenSpera. “By working with Phyton Biotech, we are leveraging state-of-the-art biotech that has the potential to improve the efficiency of our production process. It is through these kinds of partnerships that we can not only develop new drug candidates, but do so in a way that creates increased product value.”
The announcement comes as GenSpera enters a stage of continued development of mipsagargin in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and ongoing trials in glioblastoma (brain cancer) and prostate cancer. This week, GenSpera will present its long-term business growth plans at the BIO CEO & Investor conference being held in New York City. Last month, GenSpera presented positive Phase II study results for mipsagargin in treating HCC at the 2015 Gastrointestinal Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, Calif., demonstrating a proof of concept for its intellectual property.
“Working with an innovative partner like GenSpera, who is committed to developing new treatment options and doing so in a way that maximizes efficiency and quality, is exciting,” said Mark Mitchell, president at Phyton Biotech. “Phyton has a proven track record for commercial supply of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the field of oncology using its PCF process. We share GenSpera’s vision of harnessing the power of the thapsia plant and expanding their capacity with the best biotech.”
Phyton Biotech is the pioneer in Plant Cell Fermentation (PCF®) for the development and manufacture of plant-based active ingredients and other complex molecules. Phyton Biotech’s development services business is focused on harnessing plant-derived natural actives and products for use in the pharmaceutical field (APIs) as well as in food ingredients, cosmetic, and agricultural industries. Utilizing a proprietary PCF® platform technology, Phyton offers a time, risk, and cost balanced path to commercially viable production processes, resulting in the addition of sustainability, reliability, quality and scalability to a supply chain of an API. Phyton’s unique capabilities address the entire development chain, including selection and sourcing of plant material, cell line development, process development, down-stream development, chemical processing, scale-up, and commercial production. Phyton is also the world’s largest commercial provider of high-quality paclitaxel and docetaxel API via PCF® to a global customer base of sterile injectable manufacturers. The company has GMP facilities in Ahrensberg, Germany and Vancouver, Canada.
GenSpera, Inc. is a San Antonio-based biotech company that unlocks conventional thinking to conceive, design, and develop cancer therapies. GenSpera’s technology platform combines a powerful, plant-derived cytotoxin (thapsigargin) with a patented prodrug delivery system that provides for targeted release of drug candidates within tumors. GenSpera’s lead drug candidate, mipsagargin, was granted Orphan Drug designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013 for evaluation in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).