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[April 1,2010]

Cancer Therapy Advances Thanks to SUNY Downstate Researchers

Kyto Biopharma, Inc., has signed a licensing agreement with the Research Foundation of the State University of New York to patent Transcobalamin (vitamin B12) Receptor, a cancer therapy intended to minimize many of the complications arising from chemotherapy.

The new therapy is the result of more than 10 years of research by the SUNY Downstate Medical Center team headed by Edward Quadros, PhD, research professor of medicine, and research scientist Jeffrey Sequeira, MS. The SUNY Downstate team has been focused on targeting the vitamin B12 pathway for the treatment of cancer.

Georges Benarroch, president and CEO of Kyto, complemented the SUNY Downstate scientists and the SUNY Research Foundation for their contributions and support for more than a decade.

Kyto Biopharma, Inc., is a Florida-based biotechnology company operating from Toronto, Canada, and developing monoclonal antibody therapies for the treatment of various forms of cancer. Vitamin B12 regulates one of two major cellular pathways for the recycling of folates, the cell’s primary source of carbon and the progenitor for the synthesis of DNA. The newly identified Transcobalamin receptor (CD320) is over expressed in a host of various forms of cancer cells and serves as a viable target for development of therapeutic monoclonal antibodies to deliver toxins and chemotherapeutic drugs.

Dr. Quadros received his Ph.D. from the University of London, UK, and his research training at Westminster Medical School, London, and at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, California. He has made seminal contributions to our current understanding of vitamin B12 and folate metabolism and genetic abnormalities involving these vitamins. His current research is focused on targeting B12/folate pathways in cancer therapy and understanding the role of these vitamins in embryonic development and brain function.

Commenting on the current accomplishments, Dr. Quadros noted, “Inhibiting the folate pathways has been effective in treating numerous cancers for decades but the strategy lacks the specificity and targeting demanded of newer approaches. Cell cycle-associated over-expression of the receptor for B12 uptake in certain cancers provides enhanced targeting and could reduce systemic toxicity.”

 

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SUNY Downstate Medical Center, founded in 1860, was the first medical school in the United States to bring teaching out of the lecture hall and to the patient’s bedside. A center of innovation and excellence in research and clinical service delivery, SUNY Downstate Medical Center comprises a College of Medicine, Colleges of Nursing and Health Related Professions, a School of Graduate Studies, a School of Public Health, University Hospital of Brooklyn, and an Advanced Biotechnology Park and Biotechnology Incubator.

SUNY Downstate ranks ninth nationally in the number of alumni who are on the faculty of American medical schools.  More physicians practicing in New York City have graduated from SUNY Downstate than from any other medical school.

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