SAN DIEGO – August 11, 2020 – AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (OTCQB: AXIM) (“AXIM® Biotech,” “AXIM” or “the Company”), an international healthcare solutions company targeting oncological and COVID-19 research, announces that its wholly-owned research and development subsidiary, Sapphire Biotech, Inc. (“Sapphire Biotech” or “Sapphire”), has been awarded a $395,880 phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The grant will support the continued development of novel small molecules that inhibit the enzymatic activity of Quiescin Sulfhydryl Oxidase I (“QSOX1”) based on a lead compound. QSOX1 is a tumor-derived enzyme that is important for cancer growth, invasion and metastasis.

QSOX1 is an understudied but attractive cancer target because it facilitates the invasion of metastatic tumor cells into normal tissues. Many different tumor types secrete QSOX1, broadening the appeal of inhibitors for this tumor-derived enzyme.  Since metastasis is the cause of death in over 90 percent of cancer patients, the development of molecules that inhibit metastatic enzymes has strong potential for translation to the clinic.

Sapphire is conducting this research with technology it has exclusively licensed from Skysong Innovations, LLC, the intellectual property management company for Arizona State University.  Sapphire will subcontract tumor biology work for evaluating analog inhibitors for QSOX1 to Dr. Doug Lake’s laboratory at Arizona State University and Mayo Clinic Arizona. Dr. Lake’s laboratory was the first to report over-expression of QSOX1 in pancreatic and other cancers. Dr. Lake’s laboratory will evaluate analogs of Sapphire’s lead compound for the ability to suppress the invasive properties of tumors. The results of these experiments will guide the synthesis of new analogs with increased potency and bioavailability. 

In June of this year, Sapphire Biotech announced that it has begun pre-clinical animal drug studies on its leading candidate for suppressing QSOX1, SPX-1009. 

“This SBIR grant validates our cancer work using QSOX1 as a target. Any time an external panel of scientists favorably reviews your work, you know you’re on the right path,” said Catalina Valencia, Chief Executive Officer of Sapphire Biotech.

Sergei Svarovsky, Ph.D., MBA, Chief Scientific Officer of Sapphire Biotech said, “We are grateful to the NCI for the opportunity to continue development of analogs for inhibitors of QSOX1. Unlike many approaches which focus on directly killing tumor cells leading to drug-resistant tumors, our approach is to develop compounds that suppress metastasis which can be used in combination with anti-neoplastic drugs.”

Research reported in this publication was supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R43CA250719. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health.

About AXIM® Biotechnologies

Founded in 2014, AXIM® Biotechnologies, Inc. (AXIM) is a vertically integrated research and development company focused on changing diagnosis and treatment for oncology and SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19). AXIM’s NeuCovix™ is the first rapid diagnostic test measuring levels of functional neutralizing antibodies that are believed to prevent SARS-CoV-2 from entering the host cells. Additionally, the Company is developing rapid diagnostic tests for the early detection of cancer and proprietary small molecules drugs to treat cancer and block metastasis. For more information, please visit


The statements made by Axim Biotechnologies Inc., in this press release may be “forward-looking” in nature within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements describe Axim’s future plans, projections, strategies and expectations, and are based on assumptions and involve a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the control of Axim Biotechnologies, Inc. Actual results could differ materially from those projected due to there being no assurance that our diagnostic candidate will be successfully shown to detect SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies, that the diagnostic candidate will be approved for use by the U.S. FDA or any equivalent foreign regulatory agency, that the diagnostic candidate can be manufactured in large quantities or that third parties with an established presence in blood collection clinics, vaccine development, employer or individual use will enter into agreements or purchase from the Company, and even if the Company’s diagnostic candidate is successful, it may generate only limited revenue and profits for the Company, including whether any of Axim’s diagnostic products will receive  clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies to sell its products and whether and when, if at all, they will receive final approval from the U.S. FDA or equivalent foreign regulatory agencies, the fact that there has never been a commercial diagnostic test utilizing neutralizing antibodies approved for use and various other factors detailed from time to time in Axim’s SEC reports and filings, including our Annual Report on Form 10-K filed on May 13, 2020 and our subsequent quarterly report on Form 10-Q filed on June 30, 2020, and other reports we file with the SEC, which are available at Axim Biotechnologies, Inc., undertakes no obligation to update publicly any forward-looking statements to reflect new information, events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events, unless otherwise required by law.


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