AGOURA HILLS, Calif., April 19, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc. (“Oncotelic” or the “Company”) (OTCQB:OTLC) announced today a presentation at AACR-2021 (American Association for Cancer Research/ Annual Meeting) entitled: Combination therapy of anti-sense oligonucleotide targeting TGF-β2 (TASO) and IL-2 (Proleukin) has anti-cancer effect in solid cancer.

TGF-β (transforming growth factor-beta) is an essential cytokine for tumor proliferation and metastasis. The expression of TGF-Β correlates with malignancy of various cancers and involves immunosuppression and angiogenesis of a tumor. IL-2 is a major cytokine to proliferate T cells and NK cells which are major players of cancer immunity. However, the toxicity of high dose IL-2 limits its use in cancer therapy. Combination treatment of TGF-β inhibitor and IL-2 would have an anti-tumor effect by immune cells through diminishing immunosuppression by TGF-β and enforcement of immune cells by IL-2. Trabedersen is an anti-sense oligonucleotide targeting human TGF-β mRNA. It is shown that Trabedersen is well tolerable in cancer patients and effective reagent to treat pancreatic cancer, melanoma, and glioblastoma. Proleukin is the only approved IL-2 reagent to treat Renal cell carcinoma and Melanoma.

Trabedersen and Proleukin activated human PBMC (Peripheral Blood Mononuclear Cell) are treated to several solid cancer cell lines, such as Breast cancer, Pancreatic cancer, Melanoma, Lung cancer, and Colon cancer to see the cytotoxicity effect of combination therapy of Trabedersen and Proleukin. NSG mouse (NOD Scid Gamma mouse, NOD.Cg-Prkdcscid Il2rgtm1Wjl/SzJ) which are humanized by human PBMC engraftment and the tumor growth of Melanoma and TNBC (Triple Negative Breast Cancer cell) cell line are monitored.

The combination treatment of Trabedersen and low dose Proleukin decreased cancer cell viability in vitro experiment in solid cancer cell lines. Melanoma and TNBC tumor growth was delayed in humanized NSG mouse model by Trabedersen and low dose IL-2 combination therapy and tumor growth delay was statistically significant to Trabedersen alone or IL-2 alone group. Tumor infiltrating lymphocyte population was increased in Trabedersen treated group and FoxP3+ regulatory T cell population in blood and tumor microenvironment was decreased by treatment of Trabedersen.

TGF-β inhibitor (Trabedersen) and low dose IL-2 (Proleukin) combination treatment is expected to be an effective regimen in solid cancer treatment than individual treatment by alteration of tumor environment. Modulation of the dose of Proleukin expects to help reduce the toxicity of IL-2 and increase the anti-cancer effect by combination with Trabedersen.

Oncotelic has previously announced the regulatory approval from the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of Korea for the phase 1b clinical trial of a patented OT-101/IL-2 combination. This phase 1b clinical trial will confirm the safety and effectiveness of OT-101/IL-2 in solid cancer patients in cooperation with the UK global pharmaceutical company Clinigen Group. The study will be conducted together with Autotelic BIO- a partner of Mateon on OT-101/IL-2 combination.

OT-101 has received orphan drug designation for glioblastoma, melanoma, and pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, FDA recently granted Rare Pediatric Designation for OT-101 against diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG). OT-101 is also effective against coronavirus including COVID-19 and being deployed against the COVID-19 epidemic.

OT-101 has demonstrated robust efficacy against pancreatic cancer, glioblastoma, and melanoma during phase 2 clinical trials. The demonstration that OT-101 will synergize with IL-2 further demonstrate its utility as adjunct to other immunotherapies. Interleukin-2 (IL-2, Aldesleukin, PROLEUKIN®) Immunotherapy is cancer treatment that stimulates the body’s immune system to fight cancer, such as melanoma.

About Oncotelic Therapeutics

Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc. (f/k/a Mateon Therapeutics, Inc.) (“Oncotelic”), was formed in the State of New York in 1988 as OXiGENE, Inc., was reincorporated in the State of Delaware in 1992, and changed its name to Mateon Therapeutics, Inc. in 2016, and Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc. in November 2020.

Oncotelic was created by the 2019 merger with Oncotelic Inc., which became a wholly owned subsidiary of Mateon, thereby creating an immuno-oncology company dedicated to the development of first in class RNA therapeutics as well as small molecule drugs against cancer and infectious diseases. OT-101, the lead immuno-oncology drug candidate of Oncotelic, is a first-in-class anti-TGF-β RNA therapeutic that exhibited single agent activity in some relapsed/refractory cancer patients in clinical trial settings. OT-101 also has activity against SARS-CoV-2. Oncotelic is seeking to leverage its deep expertise in oncology drug development to improve treatment outcomes and survival of cancer patients with a special emphasis on rare pediatric cancers. Oncotelic has rare pediatric designation for DIPG (OT-101), melanoma (CA4P), and AML (OXi 4503). The Company acquired PointR Data Inc. (“PointR”) in November 2019. The PointR Acquisition was intended to create a publicly-traded artificial intelligence driven immuno-oncology company with a robust pipeline of first in class TGF-β immunotherapies for late stage cancers such as gliomas, pancreatic cancer and melanoma. In February 2020, the Company formed a subsidiary, Edgepoint. Edgepoint is a start-up company that plans to develop technologies and IP related to various unmet issues within the pharma and medical device industries. The Company is planning to spin off Edgepoint into a separate public company in the near future.

For more information, please visit www.oncotelic.com and www.mateon.com.

Oncotelic’s Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. All statements, other than statements of historical facts, included in this communication regarding strategy, future operations, future financial position, prospects, plans and objectives of management are forward-looking statements. Words such as “may”, “expect”, “anticipate” “hope”, “vision”, “optimism”, “design”, “exciting”, “promising”, “will”, “conviction”, “estimate,” “intend,” “believe”, “quest for a cure of cancer”, “innovation-driven”, “paradigm-shift”, “high scientific merit”, “impact potential” and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Forward looking statements contained in this press release include, but are not limited to, statements about future plans, the progress, timing, clinical development, scope and success of future clinical trials, the reporting of clinical data for the company’s product candidates and the potential use of the company’s product candidates to treat various cancer indications. Each of these forward-looking statements involves risks and uncertainties and actual results may differ materially from these forward-looking statements. Many factors may cause differences between current expectations and actual results, including unexpected safety or efficacy data observed during preclinical or clinical studies, clinical trial site activation or enrollment rates that are lower than expected, changes in expected or existing competition, changes in the regulatory environment, failure of collaborators to support or advance collaborations or product candidates and unexpected litigation or other disputes. These risks are not exhaustive, the company faces known and unknown risks, including the risk factors described in the Company’s annual report on Form 10-K filed with the SEC on May 20, 2020 and in the company’s other periodic filings. Forward-looking statements are based on expectations and assumptions as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, the company does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect any change in expectations, whether as a result of new information future events, or otherwise.

Contact Information:
For Oncotelic Therapeutics, Inc.:
Amit Shah

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