TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare is first to test new drug by Italian firm

December 08, 2009

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Dec. 8, 2009 -- TGen Clinical Research Services at Scottsdale Healthcare (TCRS) is the world's first clinical trials site for a new drug designed to halt cancer cell division.

NMS-1286937 is produced by Nerviano Medical Sciences of Milan, Italy's largest pharmaceutical research and development facility. NMS-1286937 is designed to stop cancer from spreading by preventing mitosis, the process of cell division.

"Cancer is driven by abnormal cell division and growth. Striking cancer cells at a key mechanism for growth opens up new possibilities, especially for lung and head and neck cancer patients," said Dr. Glen J. Weiss, Director of Thoracic Oncology at TCRS.

TCRS is a partnership between the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) and Scottsdale Healthcare that enables laboratory discoveries to be quickly turned into targeted therapies that can be tested with patients at the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center in Scottsdale.

This Phase 1 clinical trial of as many as 40 adults with solid tumors will help determine if NMS-1286937 is safe and effective, and should lead to further clinical assessment.

Dr. Daniel Von Hoff - TGen's Physician-In-Chief, Chief Scientific Officer at TCRS and principal investigator for the trial - described NMS-1286937 as a potent and selective polo-like kinase 1 inhibitor designed to stop cancer cells from dividing by targeting the process of mitosis. High expression of polo-like kinase 1 is present in a wide range of cancers, including lung, colorectal, breast, pancreatic, head, neck, thyroid and ovarian cancer.

NMS-1286937 will be administered orally. Preclinical studies demonstrated that NMS-1286937 is effective against even aggressive cancers known to be resistant to the current standard of care.

"We at Nerviano are excited about the prospects of this new drug and are pleased to be partnering in this endeavor with TGen and Scottsdale Healthcare,'' said Maria Adele Pacciarini, Clinical Programme Director in Clinical Oncology at Nerviano Medical Sciences.
For more information about clinical trials and eligibility, contact TCRS's patient care coordinator Joyce Ingold, R.N., at 480-323-1339, toll free at 1-877-273-3713 or at

About the Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare

The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare offers diagnosis, treatment, research, prevention and support in its facilities at the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, attracting patients from across Arizona and the U.S. Groundbreaking cancer research is conducted through its Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute and TGen Clinical Research Service. Scottsdale Healthcare is the not-for-profit parent organization of the Scottsdale Healthcare Shea Medical Center, Scottsdale Healthcare Osborn Medical Center and Scottsdale Healthcare Thompson Peak Hospital, Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center, Scottsdale Clinical Research Institute and Scottsdale Healthcare Foundation. For additional information, please visit

Press Contact:

Keith Jones, Director of Public Relations
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare

About TGen

The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. TGen is affiliated with the Van Andel Research Institute in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For more information, please visit:

Press Contact:

Steve Yozwiak
TGen Senior Science Writer

About Nerviano Medical Sciences
Nerviano Medical Sciences is the largest pharmaceutical research and development facility in Italy, and one of the largest oncology-focused, integrated discovery and development companies in Europe. NMS was spun off from Pfizer in May 2004. Since then, NMS Oncology has brought into clinical trials 3 first in class NCEs. NMS Oncology has more than 20 targeted drugs in preclinical phase, along with 5 innovative cancer drugs in Phase I and Phase II clinical studies in cancer. In the last three years, NMS Oncology has successfully generated 2 high quality anti-cancer clinical candidates every year. For more information, please visit:

The Translational Genomics Research Institute

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