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      New Tel Aviv University Cancer Drug to be Marketed Worldwide

      A new cancer drug developed by Tel Aviv University researcher has been licensed for exclusive worldwide rights to develop and market the drug.
      By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
      First Publish: 12/13/2009, 9:02 PM / Last Update: 12/13/2009, 8:58 PM

      Tel Aviv University

      A new cancer drug developed by Tel Aviv University researcher Prof. Beka Solomon has been licensed to American-based Champions Biotechnology for exclusive worldwide rights to develop and market the drug.                    

      Licensed through Ramot, the university’s wholly-owned technology transfer company, Prof. Solomon's TAR-1 antibody fragment promises an advantage in treating cancer patients. "We are excited to work with Champions Biotechnology," said Dr. Zev Weinfeld, chief executive officer of Ramot.  

      Champions Biotechnology is a U.S. oncology drug development company based in Baltimore, Maryland. The licensing agreement encompasses the development and commercialization of TAR-1, a single-chain antibody fragment in pre-clinical development that may have an advantage in treating cancer patients.

      Under the terms of the agreement, Champions obtained the worldwide rights to TAR-1 and is responsible for the further development of the compound. Ramot will receive an upfront payment and will be eligible to receive milestone payments and royalties if Champions chooses to continue the license terms, which will be determined based on results from testing TAR-1.

      Prof. Solomon identified that TAR-1 binds to and restores the wild-type active conformation of mutant p53 protein with a high degree of specificity. Given the frequency of mutant p53 in cancer, TAR-1 has the potential to target a wide range of human cancers.

      "Licensing TAR-1 demonstrates the progression of our strategy to build our own Tumorgraft-driven pipeline of oncology drugs, which we expect to yield improved clinical development success rates," said Guy Malchi, Champions Biotechnology's Head of Corporate Development and International Operations.

      Ramot at Tel Aviv University Ltd. is the technology transfer company of Tel Aviv University (TAU) and fosters, initiates, leads and manages the transfer of new technologies from university laboratories to the marketplace.