EntreMed Inc., a Rockville-based biotechnology company, said yesterday that it will team up with the National Cancer Institute to conduct further research on two promising anti-cancer agents the company has been developing.
A key goal of the project is to determine which agents to move into animal and human clinical studies to test for safety and effectiveness.
EntreMed said the research will involve a naturally occurring protein, called Endostatin, which has been shown in laboratory studies to block blood vessel growth in tumors. Tumors grow blood vessels as a way to get nutrients and spread.
The collaboration will also study a naturally occurring estrogen metabolite, a breakdown product of estrogen, said Dr. Edward Gubish, EntreMed's vice president for research and development.
In a study at Children's Hospital in Boston, researchers found that the metabolite, dubbed 2-ME, inhibited the growth of breast cancer cells and blocked blood vessel growth, also known as angiogenesis in medicine.
Angiogenesis and the role it plays in cancerous tumor growth has emerged in the past year as an area of great interest among researchers at NCI and elsewhere.
NCI also will aid EntreMed in determining how the agents might be best mass-produced for large-scale studies.
Pub Date: 8/08/97