SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Blaze Bioscience, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on guided cancer therapy, announced today that the company has been awarded a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) to study Tumor Paint BLZ-100 in patients with soft tissue sarcoma1. The company received this award after the successful completion of the Phase I contract, which studied BLZ-100 in canine patients with multiple tumor types. The award will fund the Phase 1b study in human patients with soft tissue sarcoma undergoing tumor resection. The company recently announced the initiation of their Phase 1b program in brain cancer.
Like brain cancer, soft tissue sarcoma represents an orphan indication with a high unmet need which disproportionately affects young people. In an attempt to stop the rapid spread of this aggressive cancer, surgeons strive to get all of the tumor during the procedure, often taking large amounts of normal tissue in an attempt to ensure a complete resection. "Our goal with BLZ-100 in sarcoma is to provide surgeons with the ability to see and resect the cancer cells, improving the chances of achieving a complete resection with negative tumor margins," said Dennis Miller, Ph.D., Blaze Bioscience's Senior Vice President and Principal Investigator on the NCI contract.
"This follow-on NCI award provides additional validation of the potential utility of Tumor Paint technology," said Blaze Bioscience President and CEO Heather Franklin. "With this funding for the new trial in sarcoma, it is possible that we may demonstrate initial clinical proof of principle for BLZ-100 in both brain cancer and sarcoma by the end of 2015."
BLZ-100 is the first product candidate from Blaze's Tumor Paint platform and consists of an Optide (optimized peptide), which binds and internalizes into cancer cells, and a fluorescent dye, which emits light in the near-infrared range. Tumor Paint products are designed to provide real-time, high-resolution intraoperative visualization of cancer cells, enabling more precise, complete resection of cancer throughout surgery. Preclinical utility has been demonstrated in a wide range of cancer types, including brain, lung, breast, prostate, colorectal, skin, and sarcomas.