Novelos Therapeutics, a pharmaceutical company developing novel drugs for treatment and diagnosis of cancer, has completed its acquisition of Cellectar, a Wisconsin-based drug-development company, in a stock-for-stock transaction.
Novelos will continue to develop Cellectar's three novel cancer-targeted compounds, which are selectively taken up and retained in cancer cells (including cancer stem cells) versus normal cells. COLD, a cancer-targeted chemotherapy that is expected to enter clinical trials late in 2012, works primarily through Akt inhibition. HOT is a small-molecule, broad-spectrum, cancer-targeted radiopharmaceutical that delivers radiation directly and selectively to cancer cells and cancer stem cells. HOT has first-in-class potential and will enter a phase Ib dose-escalation trial in the third quarter of this year and phase II trials in mid-2012 in monotherapy for solid tumors with significant unmet medical need. LIGHT is a small-molecule cancer imaging agent with first-in-class potential that will enter phase I/II clinical trials this year.
"In order to elicit a long-term therapy benefit in cancer, it is rapidly becoming clear that the next generation of anticancer agents will need to address tumor heterogeneity including the stem cell component. Our diapeutic tumor selective delivery platform is designed and we believe uniquely poised to accomplish this in an extremely wide variety of cancers," said Jamey Weichert, Ph.D., founder of Cellectar and chief scientific officer of Novelos.