Anti-Pleiotrophin Neutralizing Antibodies for the Treatment of Cancer

Categories: “Diagnostics” “Cancer Therapeutics” “Research Tools

Reference #: 2004-031

OTC Contact: Ruchika Nijhara, Ph.D., MBA, CLP (Directory Information | Send a Message)


Overexpression of Pleiotrophin (PTN), a secreted heparin binding growth factor, results in malignant phenotypes. PTN also demonstrates angiogenic activity. Specifically, PTN level in serum is elevated in pancreatic, lung, melanoma, and colon cancer patients and it correlates with the disease stages. The present invention provides anti-PTN antibodies (and methods of producing such antibodies) which functionally inhibit or block the angiogenic and oncogenic activities of PTN, and therefore of great therapeutic value.


  • Prophylactic and therapeutic treatment of cancer.
  • Diagnostic and prognostic evaluation of cancers associated with PTN expression.
  • Research tool.


  • Antibodies of the present invention block biological activities of PTN.
  • The present invention provides novel methods to produce antibodies against proteins that are highly homologous among the mammalian system.
  • Such antibodies can be used for both preclinical studies as well as human studies, saving time and resources in the drug development process.
  • Labeled monoclonal antibodies can be used to detect cancer at an early stage.
  • Such antibodies can be used to monitor tumor recurrence.

Stage of Development

Proof-of- concept studies demonstrate that the anti-PTN antibodies suppress human pancreatic tumor growth in animals. Also, studies have been done to demonstrate that these monoclonal antibodies inhibit the proliferation of cells as well as angiogenesis by 90%.

Relevant Publications

“Ribozyme targeting of the growth factor pleiotrophin in established tumors: a gene therapy approach”. Wellstein et al, Gene therapy, 2005 Feb;12(4):339-46.

“Midkine binds to anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and acts as a growth factor for different cell types” Wellstein et al., JBC 2002 September 27;277(39):35990-8

“Anti-apoptotic signaling of pleiotrophin through its receptor, anaplastic lymphoma kinase”. Wellstein et al., J Biol Chem. 2002 Sep 27;277(39):35862-8.

p>“Serum levels of the angiogenic factor pleiotrophin in relation to disease stage in lung cancer patients”. Wellstein et al, Br J Cancer. 2002 Mar 18;86(6):858-63.