Avelas Biosciences’ AVB-620 Shows Sensitive In Vivo Visualization of Breast Cancer in Journal Publication

September 14, 2017

SAN DIEGO, September 14, 2017 – Avelas Biosciences, Inc., a clinical stage oncology-focused company dedicated to improving cancer patient care from diagnosis through treatment, today announced the publication of a paper in the scientific journal Theranostics showing that AVB-620 imaging visualizes primary tumors and high in vivo diagnostic sensitivity and specificity (both >95%) for identifying breast cancer metastases to lymph nodes in two immunocompetent syngeneic mouse models.

The paper, titled “Sensitive in vivo Visualization of Breast Cancer Using Ratiometric Protease-activatable Fluorescent Imaging Agent, AVB-620” is now available online, Theranostics 2017; 7(13): 3369-3386.

“We’re delighted to share this important preclinical work which describes AVB-620 for the first time and demonstrates its high sensitivity and specificity in distinguishing between breast cancer and healthy tissue via ratiometric fluorescence response,” said Jesús (Tito) González, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer of Avelas Biosciences. “AVB-620 was well tolerated and single-dose toxicology studies in rats determined a no-observed-adverse-effect-level (NOAEL) at >110-fold above the imaging and estimated human dose. This study, along with other important nonclinical and clinical investigations, has enabled AVB-620 to progress into a Phase 2 clinical trial in breast cancer patients.”

In an extension of the research, an in vitro diagnostic study using breast cancer patient tissue was conducted to evaluate the ability of AVB-620 to differentiate human breast cancer tumor from healthy adjacent tissue. Tumor tissue activated AVB-620 significantly more than matched healthy breast tissue generating an assay sensitivity of 96% and specificity of 88%. Overall AVB-620 demonstrated excellent accuracy for identifying breast cancer in mouse and human tissue as well as pharmaceutical properties, fluorescence ratio dynamic range, usable diagnostic time window, a scalable synthesis, and a safety profile that enabled its advance into clinical evaluation in breast cancer patients.

About Avelas Biosciences

Avelas Biosciences is a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on developing technologies that advance a new standard-of-care for cancer surgery and therapeutic intervention. The company’s lead candidate, AVB-620, has completed a Phase 1b clinical trial assessing safety, pharmacokinetics and fluorescence properties using tissue image analysis. A Phase 2 clinical trial for AVB-620 in breast cancer was initiated in June 2017. In addition, the company is advancing a therapeutic program, which utilizes the same technology platform. Avelas was founded by Avalon Ventures on technology from Roger Y. Tsien, Ph.D., co-winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in chemistry.

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