- Tiziana Life Sciences has exclusively licensed a novel anti-cancer stem cell agent, capable of targeting aggressive tumour forming cells originating from the breast, pancreas, colon and prostate, from Cardiff University scientists.

The novel agent, known as OH14, is an inhibitor of c-FLIP (cellular FLICE (FADD-like IL-1β-converting enzyme)-inhibitory protein), a known suppressor of apoptosis (programmed cell death).

c-FLIP acts inside the cell by preventing the instructive cell death that occurs when a signal protein produced by neighbouring cells attaches to the target cell's surface. c-FLIP blocks this death signal from entering the cell.

Suppression of apoptosis is a recognised driver of cancer cell proliferation, thus by inhibiting this suppression it should be possible for cell death to occur and proliferation of cancer to be thwarted.

Under the terms of the agreement, Tiziana will fund £50,000 per year for a research project at the University focused on building the structure activity relationships (SARs) around OH14 and to improve the activity of this series of compounds.

Additionally, Tiziana will pay to the University milestone payments up to c.£2 million and pay royalties on sales of any licensed products developed as a result of the project. If certain milestones are achieved Tiziana will also pay one per cent of its enterprise value to the University in the event of a trade sale of Tiziana to a third party.

This agreement is Tiziana's second with the University following the Bcl3 licensing agreement in January 2014.

Separately, Tiziana said CFO Phil Boyd has tendered his resignation and steps down from the board with immediate effect.

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