MONMOUTH JUNCTION, NJ -- (Marketwired) -- 02/10/14 -- CytoSorbents Corporation (OTCQB: CTSO), a critical care immunotherapy company, and the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine ("Penn Vet") announced its research collaboration to investigate the use of CytoSorb®, a unique cytokine reduction filter for blood, as a potential new approach in cancer immunotherapy.
The research collaboration is initially focused on the treatment of cancer cachexia -- a progressive wasting syndrome characterized by rapid weight loss, anorexia, and physical debilitation that significantly contributes to death in the majority of animal and human cancer patients. Cancer cachexia is a systemic inflammatory condition, driven by excessive pro-inflammatory cytokines and other factors, that cripples the patient's physical and immunologic reserve to fight cancer. Despite afflicting millions of patients worldwide each year, there are no effective approved treatments for cancer cachexia, with only symptomatic treatments, such as medical marijuana, available.
CytoSorb® blood purification may stop or reverse cancer cachexia through broad reduction of cytokines and other inflammatory mediators. For example, CytoSorb® efficiently removes TNF-a (originally called "cachectin" or "cachexin" when first isolated in cancer cachexia patients) and other major pro-inflammatory cytokines including IL-1, IL-6, and gamma interferon that can cause cachexia. This broad immunotherapy approach may lead to improved clinical outcomes while reducing patient suffering.
The collaboration will also explore the use of CytoSorb® as a primary immunotherapy to treat cancer, or in synergy with more traditional chemotherapy or immunotherapy agents. Cancer cells have evolved ways to proliferate while confusing and evading the immune response. Many of these mechanisms rely on immunologic messages relayed by cytokines and other soluble factors that CytoSorb® has the potential to remove. In doing so, CytoSorb® may help to restore the ability of the immune system to attack cancer cells.
Dr. Phillip Chan, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer of CytoSorbents, stated, "Demonstrating the potential benefit of CytoSorb® therapy in animals will provide the data to begin evaluating the therapy in human cancer patients in the U.S. and Europe. CytoSorb® is approved in the European Union with a broad indication for use, allowing it to be used in any clinical situation where cytokines are elevated, including the potential treatment today of cancer related issues such as cancer cachexia. Because of this, any positive data from this collaboration could be translated to human studies relatively quickly."
Dr. Erika Krick, VMD, Assistant Professor of Oncology of Penn Vet with strong research interests in cancer cachexia, commented, "Clinical signs of cancer cachexia are seen most commonly in our feline cancer patients and can significantly impact the patient's and caregiver's quality of life. We are excited about the opportunity to evaluate CytoSorb® as a therapy specifically directed towards the cancer cachexia syndrome, in combination with standard cancer treatments."
Dr. Chan continued, "In addition to this focus on cancer, we will also be collaborating with Penn Vet on the treatment of animals with sepsis, pancreatitis, and other critical illnesses. We hope to demonstrate similar benefits in animals as seen in humans with life-threatening conditions. We are pleased to be working with Penn Vet in cancer and critical care research."
Dr. Deborah Silverstein, DVM, Associate Professor of Penn Vet, and co-author of the text "Small Animal Critical Care Medicine," stated, "The ability to remove excessive, and often damaging, inflammatory mediators has the potential to greatly reduce morbidity and mortality in critically ill small animals that suffer from severe systemic inflammation or sepsis. We are eager to begin enrolling severely ill dogs soon and seek additional resources to expand the study."
About University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine ("Penn Vet")
Penn Vet is a global leader in veterinary medicine education, research, and clinical care. Founded in 1884, Penn Vet is the only veterinary school developed in association with a medical school. The school is a proud member of the One Health Initiative, linking human, animal, and environmental health.
Penn Vet serves a diverse population of animals at its two campuses, which include extensive diagnostic and research laboratories. Ryan Hospital in Philadelphia provides care for dogs, cats, and other domestic/companion animals, seeing nearly 33,000 patients a year. New Bolton Center, Penn Vet's large-animal hospital on nearly 700 acres in rural Kennett Square, PA, cares for horses and livestock/farm animals, treating 33,000 patients each year -- 4,100 in the hospital and 29,000 at farms through the Field Service. In addition, New Bolton Center's campus includes a swine center, working dairy, and poultry unit that provide valuable research for the agriculture industry. For more information, visit www.vet.upenn.edu.
About CytoSorbents Corporation
CytoSorbents is a critical care focused immunotherapy company using blood purification to modulate inflammation -- with the goal of preventing or treating multiple organ failure in life-threatening illnesses. Organ failure is the cause of nearly half of all deaths in the intensive care unit, with little to improve clinical outcome. CytoSorb®, the Company's flagship product, is approved in the European Union as a safe and effective extracorporeal cytokine filter, designed to reduce the "cytokine storm" that could otherwise cause massive inflammation, organ failure and death in common critical illnesses such as sepsis, burn injury, trauma, lung injury, and pancreatitis. These are conditions where the risk of death is extremely high, yet no effective treatments exist. CytoSorbents' purification technologies are based on biocompatible, highly porous polymer beads that can actively remove toxic substances from blood and other bodily fluids by pore capture and surface adsorption. CytoSorbents has numerous products under development based upon this unique blood purification technology, protected by 32 issued US patents and multiple applications pending, including HemoDefend, ContrastSorb, DrugSorb, and others. Additional information is available for download on the Company's website: http://www.cytosorbents.com/
This press release includes forward-looking statements intended to qualify for the safe harbor from liability established by the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements in this press release are not promises or guarantees and are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. These statements are based on management's current expectations and assumptions and are naturally subject to uncertainty and changes in circumstances. We caution you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements. Actual results may differ materially from those expressed or implied by the statements herein. Risk factors are detailed in the Company's Form 10-K filed with the SEC on April 3, 2013, which is available at http://www.sec.gov.