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12:00 AM
 | 
Feb 02, 2009
 |  BioCentury  |  Emerging Company Profile

Esperance: Harmonizing hormones to cancer

Based on a technology invented at Louisiana State University as a means of sterilizing animals, Esperance Pharmaceuticals Inc. is developing fusion proteins that combine a tumor-seeking hormone receptor ligand and a cytotoxin to treat cancer. Next quarter, the company plans to start a Phase I trial of EP-100, which incorporates a cytotoxic peptide that may avoid resistance mechanisms because it causes tumor cell death without needing to be internalized.

"The technology was invented by researchers who were working with luteinizing hormone releasing hormone, which is expressed in cells in the pituitary gland responsible for reproduction in animals, and conjugating it to a cytotoxin with the idea of destroying those cells as a non-surgical method for sterilizing pets," said President Hector Alila.

That idea did not pan out because the LHRH receptor was not expressed throughout the target tissue....

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