Race Oncology (ASX: RAC) has announced the publication of a peer-reviewed pre-clinical study that has identified additional drug combinations showing synergy with its cancer-fighting drug Zantrene when tested in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) cells.
The Race Oncology-sponsored paper entitled “Enhanced cytotoxicity of bisantrene when combined with venetoclax, panobinostat, decitabine and olaparib in acute myeloid leukaemia cells” has been published in the Journal Leukemia and Lymphoma.
Research was led by Professor Borje Andersson and Associate Professor Ben Valdez of the MD Anderson Cancer Center in Texas, United States.
The phase two/three cancer drug Zantrene (bisantrene) is a potent inhibitor of the Fasto/Fat mass and obesity (FTO) associated protein, which has been shown to be the genetic driver of a diverse range of cancers when overexpressed.
In breakthrough pre-clinical research, Race Oncology also recently discovered that Zantrene has heart-protective qualities, which are still being evaluated.
Synergy of Zantrene combined with AML drugs
This MD Anderson preclinical study showed synergy for Zantrene and venetoclax when used in combination with panobinostat, decitabine or olaparib, known BCL2 inhibitors, histone deacetylase, DNA methyltransferase, and poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase, respectively, in AML cells.
According to Race Oncology, the combinations were found to “enhance DNA damage, cleavage of Caspase 3 and PARP1, DNA fragmentation, increased ROS, and potential apoptosis activation in AML cells”.
Similar results were observed using mononuclear cells isolated from leukaemia patients, but not from healthy donors.
Race Oncology chief scientific officer Dr Daniel Tillett said the work provides further preclinical data to support the company’s upcoming phase 1b/2 extramedullary AML trial in Australia and Europe, where patients will be treated with Zantrene in combination with decitabine or cytarabine.
“We are extremely excited about being able to quickly translate this work from the lab into the clinic, where it has the potential to help AML patients in need,” he said.