SAN DIEGO, March 24, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) (“AXIM® Biotech,” “AXIM” or “the Company”), an international healthcare solutions company targeting oncological and cannabinoid research, announced today that its subsidiary Sapphire Biotech, Inc. (“Sapphire”) has completed pre-clinical drug studies on a new compound, SPX-1009, demonstrating 10 times greater potency than its parent compound, SBI-183, in inhibiting metastasis.

“Cancer is a leading cause of death worldwide and distant metastases are the major cause of patient mortality,” said John W. Huemoeller II, Chief Executive Officer of AXIM® Biotech. “Our scientists at Sapphire are aiming to slow down this death rate through their emphasis on metastasis and these positive early findings are nothing but spectacular.”

Quiescin Sulfhydryl Oxidase 1 (QSOX1), an enzyme that is over-expressed by tumor cells in numerous cancers, has been shown to be involved in cancer invasion and metastasis. Earlier this year, Sapphire acquired exclusive license rights to a small molecule, SBI-183. SBI-183 has been proven to inhibit the enzymatic activity of QSOX1 and suppress tumor cell invasion in vitro and metastasis of MDA-MB-231 breast tumor cells in vivo. In a non-metastatic xenograft of kidney cancer, SBI-183 suppressed primary kidney tumor growth by 51 percent and in a metastatic xenograft breast cancer model (MDA-MB-231-luc TNBC), SBI-183 reduced lung metastasis by 76 percent compared to control.

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Sapphire scientists have tested over 70 analogs of SBI-183 and discovered that SPX-1009 was tenfold more potent in comparison to SBI-183, in suppressing tumor invasion and metastasis in vitro.  SPX-1009 was first screened in a cell-free enzymatic assay for its ability to inhibit QSOX1 and then tested for its ability to inhibit growth and invasion of triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) cells (MDA-MB-231), sarcomatoid kidney cancer cells (RCJ-41T2) and pancreatic adenocarcinoma cells (MIAPaCa2). MTT assays were used to measure the effect of the compounds on tumor growth. 2D invasion assays and 3D tumor spheroid assays were employed to measure the effect of the compounds on invasion.

Testing results demonstrated in vitro that SPX-1009 suppressed invasion of breast, kidney and pancreas tumor cells in 2D and 3D invasion assays at tenfold lower concentrations than the parent compound SBI-183.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Sapphire intends to initiate animal studies to demonstrate the greater potency of SPX-1009 to suppress tumor growth and metastasis in mice bearing MDA-MB-231-luc breast cancer orthotopic xenografts.   Sapphire’s intellectual property related to the SBI-183 and SPX-1009 technology is the subject of numerous patent-pending applications.

“We are extremely excited with the results that the in vitro testing showed,” said Catalina Valencia, Chief Executive Officer of Sapphire Biotech. “This potential therapeutic treatment could someday help control tumor cell proliferation and metastasis with our inhibitor.”

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About AXIM® Biotechnologies
Founded in 2014, AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (AXIM) is a world leader in the research and development of plant and laboratory-derived cannabinoid and oncological therapeutics. AXIM’s proprietary research intends to find new ways to diagnose and treat cancer as well as other conditions, such as the intense side effects of chemotherapy, through innovative pharmaceutical delivery systems, cannabinoid-based active pharmaceutical ingredients, and novel therapeutics.

Currently, Sapphire Biotech, Inc.’s diagnostic tool is being used to study the company’s enzyme biomarker to detect pancreatic cancer earlier than circulating tumor cells. Learn more here. For more information, please visit

About Sapphire Biotech
Sapphire Biotech, Inc. is a research and development company that has a mission to improve global cancer care through the development of proprietary therapeutics for inhibiting cancer growth and metastasis. Sapphire is also developing a line of novel diagnostics for early cancer detection, response to treatment, and recurrence monitoring. For more information, please visit

This press release may contain certain forward-looking statements and information, as defined within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and is subject to the Safe Harbor created by those sections. This material contains statements about expected future events and/or financial results that are forward-looking in nature and subject to risks and uncertainties. Such forward-looking statements by definition involve risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. to be materially different from the statements made herein.

AXIM® Biotechnologies does not sell or distribute any products that are in violation of the United States Controlled Substances Act (US.CSA).

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