Cellectar Biosciences Announces USPTO Grants Patent for Paclitaxel PDC; Provides Additional Patent Protection for Select Solid Tumors Through 2035

MADISON, Wis., Dec. 12, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Cellectar Biosciences, Inc. (Nasdaq:CLRB) (the “company”), an oncology-focused clinical stage biotechnology company, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) has granted patent number 9,480,754 covering the method of use for CLR 1603 to treat breast, lung, colorectal and prostate cancers as well as their associated cancer stem cells. CLR 1603 consists of Cellectar’s proprietary phospholipid drug conjugate (“PDC”) delivery platform technology using a unique chemical linker, conjugated to the chemotherapeutic agent paclitaxel.

This patent and the previously granted composition of matter patent provide intellectual property protection for CLR 1603 to the end of 2035. Earlier this year, the company announced that CLR 1603 showed an increased delivery of between 20 – 30 times that of paclitaxel alone to a tumor in a preclinical xenograft cancer model. Additionally, CLR 1603 did not require the use of Cremophor in its formulation, a desired feature as Cremophor has been linked to a number of serious adverse events. As a result, CLR 1603 improved formulation, combined with its targeted delivery, has the potential to significantly reduce adverse events typically associated with other paclitaxel-based therapies.

“This patent provides intellectual property protection for one of our most interesting paclitaxel PDCs,” said Jim Caruso, president and CEO of Cellectar. “The chemotherapeutic conjugate program is an exciting addition to CLR 131, our lead radiotherapeutic PDC currently in a Phase I clinical study for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. We plan to initiate a Phase II trial for CLR 131 in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma and select hematologic malignancies in early 2017. We are enthusiastic about the potential of each of these programs and look forward to reporting continued progress.”

About Phospholipid Drug Conjugates (PDCs)
Cellectar’s product candidates are built upon its patented cancer cell-targeting delivery and retention platform of optimized phospholipid ether-drug conjugates (PDCs). The company deliberately designed its phospholipid ether (PLE) carrier platform to be coupled with a variety of payloads to facilitate both therapeutic and diagnostic applications. The basis for selective tumor targeting of our PDC compounds lies in the differences between the plasma membranes of cancer cells compared to those of normal cells. Cancer cell membranes are highly enriched in lipid rafts, which are glycolipoprotein microdomains of the plasma membrane of cells that contain high concentrations of cholesterol and sphingolipids, and serve to organize cell surface and intracellular signaling molecules. PDCs have been tested in over 70 different xenograft models of cancer.

About Cellectar Biosciences, Inc.
Cellectar Biosciences is developing phospholipid drug conjugates (PDCs) designed to provide cancer targeted delivery of diverse oncologic payloads to a broad range of cancers and cancer stem cells. Cellectar's PDC platform is based on the company's proprietary phospholipid ether analogs.  These novel small-molecules have demonstrated highly selective uptake and retention in a broad range of cancers. Cellectar's PDC pipeline includes product candidates for cancer therapy and cancer diagnostic imaging.  The company's lead therapeutic PDC, CLR 131, utilizes iodine-131, a cytotoxic radioisotope, as its payload. CLR 131 is currently being evaluated under an orphan drug designated Phase I clinical study in patients with relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma. In addition, the company plans to initiate a Phase II clinical study to assess efficacy in a range of B-cell malignancies in the first quarter of 2017. The company is also developing PDCs for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel (CLR 1602-PTX), a preclinical stage product candidate, and plans to expand its PDC chemotherapeutic pipeline through both in-house and collaborative R&D efforts. For more information please visit www.cellectar.com.

This news release contains forward-looking statements.  You can identify these statements by our use of words such as "may," "expect," "believe," "anticipate," "intend," "could," "estimate," "continue," "plans," or their negatives or cognates.  These statements are only estimates and predictions and are subject to known and unknown risks and uncertainties that may cause actual future experience and results to differ materially from the statements made.  These statements are based on our current beliefs and expectations as to such future outcomes.  Drug discovery and development involve a high degree of risk.  Factors that might cause such a material difference include, among others, uncertainties related to the ability to raise additional capital, uncertainties related to the ability to attract and retain partners for our technologies, the identification of lead compounds, the successful preclinical development thereof, the completion of clinical trials, the FDA review process and other government regulation, our pharmaceutical collaborators' ability to successfully develop and commercialize drug candidates, competition from other pharmaceutical companies, product pricing and third-party reimbursement.  A complete description of risks and uncertainties related to our business is contained in our periodic reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission including our Form 10-K/A for the year ended December 31, 2015.  These forward-looking statements are made only as of the date hereof, and we disclaim any obligation to update any such forward-looking statements.

Jules Abraham
JQA Partners