1 in 6 deaths is due to cancer
As per World Health Organization, Cancer is the 2nd major cause of death globally, and is responsible for an ~9.6 million deaths in 2018. Worldwide, about one in six deaths is owing to cancer.
Demand for effective cancer therapies are mounting globally, due to widespread prevalence of cancer, consequently, the oncology drug market is anticipated to record robust growth in the coming years. Cancer therapies can be described as treatments or drugs that impede growth and proliferation of cancer cells and includes chemotherapy, immunotherapy, radiotherapy, surgical procedure, among others.
Prescient Therapeutics (ASX: PTX), is a clinical stage oncology company engaged in novel drugs development for the treatment of an array of devastating cancers that have become resistant to front-line chemotherapy. Prescient’s personalised medicine approach addresses specific mutations causing cancers in the multi-billion cancer market.
PTX-100 and PTX-200, 2 leading drug candidates
Its robust clinical pipeline with two lead drug candidates, PTX-100 and PTX-200, backed by renowned United States institutions, is under the limelight for recent developments in its clinical trials with convincing proof of concept in addition to safety data already established.
Prescient-Triple negative and ER+/HER2 negative breast cancer
Triple-negative breast cancer is a type of cancer that tests negative for estrogen and progesterone receptors along with excess HER2 protein which signify that cancer growth is not stimulated by the hormones estrogen and progesterone, or by the HER2 protein, consequently, triple-negative breast cancer fails to respond to hormonal therapy medicines or medicines that target HER2 protein receptors. About 10-20% of breast cancers fall in this category. GlobalData 2016 categorised the treatment of Triple negative & ER+/HER2 negative breast cancer as a treatment with major unmet clinical need.
Being most locally advanced breast cancer that remains underserved by new drugs, HER2- negative cancer allures a huge market opportunity which is estimated to reach over ten billion in the next five years. The main force that drives this growth is expected to be the launch of novel breast cancer medicines in the pre-operative setting as is the strong demand for novel drugs for treating ER+ patients resistant to endocrine therapy.
Prescient’s PTX-200 is positioned well to address this poorly met need, although there is a dearth of novel pipeline agents from pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies addressing this opportunity.
In December 2019, Prescient unveiled encouraging results from Phase 2a trial of PTX-200 carried out in women with locally advanced, HER2 negative breast cancer showing high overall response rate of 91% across all eleven patients evaluated for the study.
Prescient- Recurrent or Persistent Platinum Resistant Ovarian Cancer
In females, ovarian cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer with very poor clinical outcomes. After the initial front-line platinum-based chemotherapy, such as carboplatin, a significant majority of women relapse, and are deemed platinum resistant. In addition, an abnormally high Akt also contributes to this platinum resistance.
This is a stage at which there exists limited clinical alternatives for these patients including a sever gap in the market for new drugs for platinum resistant cancers. Therefore, conquering platinum resistance would be a huge development in the field of ovarian cancer.
Notably, pre-clinical studies have already proved that PTX-200 can vanquish platinum resistance and can provide synergies with platinum-based chemotherapies.
With PTX-200 showing early promise to achieve the objective, the company conducted a phase 1b Ovarian Cancer Trial aiming to inhibit Akt. Akt inhibition re-sensitise platinum resistant patients for platinum therapies, thereby efficiently reversing & overcoming tumour resistance to chemotherapy.
The interim data analysis revealed acceptable safety with 80% of women (12 of 15) displaying control over disease (being partial response or stable disease). Important to note that, the patients are yet to be escalated to the optimal dosage of PTX-200 as indicated by Prescient.
It is highly interesting to note how PTX-200’s progression-free survival data is holding up on the phase 1b Ovarian readout especially after the recent setback AstraZeneca and Merck's has faced, wherein a combination of their cancer drug Lynparza and an experimental drug, cediranib found unsuccessful to keep relapsed ovarian cancer patients' disease under control better than standard chemotherapy, ending Lynparza’s success in ovarian cancer.
Prescient- Relapse and Refractory Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML)
In Acute Myeloid Leukemia, the bone marrow produces anomalous myeloblasts, RBCs (red blood cells), or platelets. In United States alone, the frequency of AML has rocketed to a substantial degree, yet there has been hardly any improvement in its treatment in the past 40 years, making it an area of high interest for investors and clinicians.
Prescient’s Phase 1b study with PTX-200 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients unveiled promising results with complete eradication of disease in three of 15 patients in a notoriously difficult to treat cancer, representing 100 % abolition of cancer. Acting as a targeted therapy PTX-200 focuses on the “phenotype (physical traits), not the genotype (genetic traits)” AML mutations, synergizing with cytarabine in AML cells complementing a “backbone” of traditional chemotherapy.
Upon receiving encouraging results, Prescient intends to expand this study with certain protocol amendment modifying PTX-200 dosing schedule with the customary FDA and ethics committee reviews to follow.
US FDA has granted PTX-200 an Orphan Drug Designation, certifying Prescient’s success.
Prescient- Hematological & Solid Tumours
Prescient also has a focus on several hematological and solid malignancies including myeloma, T-cell lymphomas, gastric & pancreatic cancers using its novel targeted therapy, PTX-100, a Ras pathway inhibitor which has been the subject of mounting industry attention after Amgen released promising data on its new cancer drug AMG-510, a KRAS inhibitor.
Mutant Ras tumours are often unresponsive to existing therapies due to which patients with Ras mutant cancers remain significantly underserved, signaling a dearth of suitable targeted therapies.
Prescient's innovative PTX-100 and its unique mode of action that disrupts the Ras pathway has strong competitive edge over Prescient's peers as it addresses all K-Ras and N-Ras mutations. So far, among ASX-listed companies, PTX-100 is the only inhibitor of Ras pathway and to the Company’s knowledge, the only RhoA inhibitor worldwide in a clinical development stage.
Prescient has successfully initiated a Phase 1b trial for this first-in-class cancer therapy - PTX-100 taking a basket approach that groups patients’ based on mutational profile of the tumour, instead of the tumour origin, in which the “Basket” trial bundles identifies patients carrying this mutation and turns it off with a specific targeted therapy.
In a nutshell, Prescient’s holds crucial importance in the precision oncology. With a focus upon achieving clinical milestones & business development pursuits for establishing significant long-term value for investors, President’s robust clinical programs continue to revolutionize the treatment of multiple cancers worldwide.
On 27 March 2020, Prescient's stock traded at AUD 0.027 with a market capitilisation of AUD 10.65 million. The stock has 394.26 million outstanding shares trading on ASX.
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