Clinical stage oncology company engaged in developing personalised medicine approaches including targeted and cellular therapies to beat cancer, Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX) has been gaining industry limelight for its advancing clinical trials.
Prescient has a robust product pipeline including two clinical stage drugs, PTX-100 and PTX-200, that turn off “master switches” driving cancer. Several clinical trials are currently being conducted, by Prescient, at some of the most prestigious cancer institutes in the United States, with four open INDs approved by the US FDA.
Prescient recently revealed positive interim results from PTX-200 phase 1b safety study conducted in women diagnosed with recurrent or persistent platinum resistant ovarian cancer. Reported results demonstrated acceptable safety & 80% of women displaying control over disease (being partial response or stable disease).
Post this encouraging news on 12 December 2019, PTX surged by 7% to make a day’s high of $0.093 amid heavy volumes, to finally close the day’s trade at $0.085.
Prescient’s Novel PTX-200
PTX-200, positioned as a PH domain inhibitor with a novel mechanism of action that explicitly inhibits a vital survival pathway known as Akt, whilst being comparatively safer, unlike other drug candidates that target Akt inhibition which are non-specific kinase inhibitors and have toxicity problems.
Akt is a growth switch found in cancer cells, that plays a crucial role in the progression of several solid tumours including breast and ovarian cancer as well as hematologic tumours including leukemia, while also conferring resistance to many therapies.
AKT Pathway (Source: Company Presentation)
PTX-200 in Recurrent or Persistent Platinum Resistant Ovarian Cancer
Ovarian cancer is one of the most commonly occurring cancer in women with very poor clinical outcomes. A significant majority of patients relapse and become resistant to the front-line platinum-based chemotherapy, such as carboplatin, and therefore considered platinum resistant.
At this stage, for these patients there exists very few clinical options and a severe gap in the market for new drugs for platinum resistant cancers. Moreover, abnormally high Akt contributes to this platinum resistance.
As per Steven Yatomi-Clarke, Prescient Therapeutics CEO, overcoming platinum resistance would, therefore, be a huge development in the field of ovarian cancer.
In view of this, the rationale of the study is to inhibit Akt, and in that way re-sensitise platinum resistant patients towards platinum therapies, efficiently reversing and overcoming tumour resistance to chemotherapy. Important to note that, pre-clinical studies have already established that PTX-200 could conquer platinum resistance and could synergise with platinum-based chemotherapies.
Encouraging Results from PTX-200 Phase 1b Clinical Trial
This trial is being conducted at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center in Florida, U.S. under the guidance of principal investigator Dr Robert Wenham, with the primary aim of determining the maximum tolerated dose of PTX-200 given in combination with carboplatin.
In this study, a total of fifteen women diagnosed with recurrent or persistent platinum resistant ovarian cancer have been enrolled and being dosed with 15- 25 mg/m2 PTX-200 combined with carboplatin.
Evaluation of data at the interim stage of the trial revealed, 11 women exhibiting signs of stable disease and one woman displaying a partial response, overall, 12 out of 15 patients, i.e., 80% displayed disease control. It is important to note that the escalation phase has not yet been completed and yet to be escalated to the optimal dosage of PTX-200 as per the company.
Reporting further regarding the adverse events, Prescient informed there were seven critical cases registered across the fifteen patients. Worth noting is the fact that only one of these adverse events was considered possibly associated with PTX-200, which was a case of grade 2 vomiting that resulted in hospitalisation.
Lens over Prescient’s Product Portfolio Involving PTX-200
Source: Company Presentation
In a nutshell, PTX200 has shown early promise as a candidate to achieve the objective of overcoming platinum resistance in ovarian cancer patients, a huge development in the field of ovarian cancer.
Within Prescient’s interest of alleviating the rising costs of conducting clinical trials overseas, as indicated earlier, the Company looks forward to keep on examining PTX-200 in ovarian cancer in Australia and/or as an investigator sponsored study underpinned by non-dilutive funding and would further seek to build on these encouraging results seen so far in this study.
Stock Price Information
On 18 December 2019, PTX shares were up 8% and trading at $0.085 (AEDT: 3:24 PM). In the past one-month PTX shares have appreciated by 58%.
To know more about Prescient Therapeutics Limited, click here.
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