Oncology specialist Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX) has said it intends to expand its product development pipeline by commencing a collaboration with an as yet unnamed “leading private US-based drug development company” to create new formulations of “PH domain and Akt inhibitors”.
The news means Prescient will seek to develop a continual stream of drug candidates based on its experience with targeted cancer therapy drug PTX-200.
Earlier this year, Prescient declared it had achieved its “most significant clinical milestone to date” after successfully completing a phase 1b trial using PTX-200 in breast cancer sufferers.
“This pipeline collaboration is an important strategic initiative for Prescient. Not only does it complement our existing PTX-200 programs and leverage Prescient’s experience with PTX-200, but it also presents new technologies and opens new opportunities for Prescient from a clinical perspective,” said Steven Yatomi-Clarke, chief executive officer and managing director of Prescient.
The duo plans to generate novel proprietary formulations to expand the potential therapeutic applications of PTX-200 as a targeted cancer therapy.
“A core plank of this strategy is the generation of new intellectual property for Prescient,” the company said.
From PTX-200 and beyond
Prescient’s lead drug candidate PTX-200 is a novel PH domain inhibitor that works by shutting down an important tumour survival pathway known as Akt, which plays a key role in the development of many cancers, including breast, ovarian cancer and leukaemia.
According to medical researchers, the current array of Akt inhibitors are what’s known as “non-specific kinase inhibitors” that have significant toxicity problems.
Prescient says that PTX-200 uses a novel mechanism to specifically inhibit Akt while remaining comparatively safer. Its past development work has provided sufficient reason to believe the drug could be advanced into a viable treatment for various cancers and has embarked on a series of clinical trials to prove its claims.
Currently, PTX-200 is undergoing a phase 2 trial in women with HER2-negative locally advanced breast cancer where it has demonstrated “encouraging efficacy signals”.
PTX-200 is also involved in a Phase 1b/2 trial in relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukaemia as well as a Phase 1b/2 trial in platinum-resistant ovarian cancer.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Prescient’s prime product orphan drug designation, in order to enable the company to test its efficacy for the treatment of acute myeloid leukaemia in 2017.
“Now that PTX-200 has demonstrated encouraging proof of concept in the clinic, it is timely to build beyond our experience with PTX-200 and to generate next-generation formulations for the company,” said Mr Yatomi-Clarke.
This morning’s collaborative news pushed Prescient shares up approximately 22% to reach $0.088 by mid-afternoon.