BASKING RIDGE, N.J., Sept. 29, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Lisata Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: LSTA) (“Lisata” or the “Company”), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company developing innovative therapies for the treatment of advanced solid tumors and other serious diseases, today announced that Erkki Ruoslahti, M.D., Ph.D., the scientific founder of the Company’s CendR Platform™ technology and a member of the Company’s board of directors, was a recipient of the 2022 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, which was awarded on September 28, 2022. The Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award is one of the highly competitive and distinguished international prizes for medical science awarded by the Lasker Foundation.
Dr. Ruoslahti, together with Drs. Richard Hynes and Timothy Springer, is being honored for the discovery of integrins and their key role as mediators of cell-cell and cell-matrix interactions in physiology and disease. The Lasker Foundation awards are considered among the most respected science prizes in the world, honoring visionaries whose insight and perseverance have led to dramatic advances that will prevent disease and prolong life. Dr. Ruoslahti’s fundamental work in identifying and characterizing integrins has been successfully translated into a technology platform for the selective and efficient delivery of therapeutic moieties into solid tumors. Known as the CendR Platform™, it is the basis for LSTA1, Lisata’s lead clinical development program being studied in a variety of clinical trials in combination with chemotherapeutic and immunotherapeutic agents to enhance the survival of patients with difficult-to-treat solid tumor cancers.
Dr. Ruoslahti’s most notable scientific contributions are in the field of cell adhesion, where he is credited as one of the discoverers of fibronectin. His discovery and characterization of the RGD peptide has led to the development of drugs for diseases ranging from vascular thrombosis to cancer. His current studies deal with peptides that home to specific targets in the body, such as tumors, atherosclerotic plaques, and injured tissues. These peptides, which usually bind to receptors in the vessels of the target tissue, can be used to selectively deliver diagnostic probes and drugs to the target. His latest development in this area is the discovery of homing peptides with tumor-penetrating properties based on activation of the CendR active transport pathway. Activation of the CendR pathway allows for the transport of moieties through a variety of cells and the phenomenon is at the heart of the mechanism of action of LSTA1 and the CendR Platform™ in general.
“I am very honored and grateful to the Lasker Foundation for this award and would like to recognize all the contributors who have inspired my work as well as those who have assisted me along the way,” stated Dr. Ruoslahti. “I hope my research continues to contribute to the improvement of patient health and quality of life.”
“Dr. Ruoslahti is a true visionary, and we are fortunate to be able to apply his research and discoveries in the development of our CendR Platform™ technology-based programs for the treatment of cancer and other major diseases,” stated David J. Mazzo, Ph.D., Chief Executive Officer of Lisata. “All of us at Lisata extend our most heartfelt congratulations to him on this momentous occasion.”
Dr. Ruoslahti was appointed to the Lisata Board in September 2022 as part of the merger of Lisata with Cend Therapeutics, Inc., where Dr. Ruoslahti served as Chairman of the Board of Directors. He earned his M.D. and Ph.D. from the University of Helsinki in Finland in 1967. After postdoctoral training at the California Institute of Technology, he held various academic appointments with the University of Helsinki and the University of Turku in Finland and City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California. He joined the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research in 1979 and served as its President from 1989-2002. Dr. Ruoslahti cofounded the Center for Nanomedicine and was a distinguished professor at University of California Santa Barbara in Biological Sciences from 2005-2015. In addition to the 2022 Albert Lasker Basic Medical Research Award, Dr. Ruoslahti’s honors include elected membership to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Medicine, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and the European Molecular Biology Organization; and receipt of the Japan Prize, the Gairdner Foundation International Award, the G.H.A. Clowes Award, the Robert J. and Claire Pasarow Foundation Award, and the Jacobaeus International Prize. On the entrepreneurial side, Dr. Ruoslahti is an inventor of about 150 patents and a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He has founded several biotech companies and served on the board of directors of two publicly traded companies in addition to Lisata.
About Lisata Therapeutics
Lisata Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company dedicated to the discovery, development, and commercialization of innovative therapies for the treatment of advanced solid tumors and other major diseases. Lisata’s lead investigational product candidate, LSTA1 (formerly known as CEND-1), is designed to modify the tumor microenvironment by activating a novel uptake pathway that allows anti-cancer drugs to penetrate solid tumors more effectively. LSTA1 actuates an active transport system in a tumor-specific manner, resulting in systemically co-administered anti-cancer drugs more efficiently penetrating and accumulating in the tumor, while normal tissues are not affected. LSTA1 has demonstrated favorable safety, tolerability, and activity in clinical trials to enhance delivery of standard-of-care chemotherapy for pancreatic cancer. Lisata and its collaborators have also amassed significant non-clinical data demonstrating enhanced delivery of a range of emerging anti-cancer therapies, including immunotherapies and RNA-based therapeutics. Lisata is exploring the potential of LSTA1 to enable a variety of treatment modalities to treat a range of solid tumors more effectively. In addition, Lisata also has clinical development programs based on its autologous CD34+ cell therapy technology platform.
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