OXFORD, England--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Karus Therapeutics (‘Karus’), a leader in the development of innovative, orally-active medicines with breakthrough potential in the treatment of cancer, today announced that the first patients have been dosed in a Phase I study for its lead candidate, KA2237.
This is the Company’s first product to enter clinical trials. KA2237 is a dual-selective inhibitor of two PI3K isoforms, p110β and p110δ. Inhibiting these two isoforms combines an immunotherapeutic response and a direct effect on tumor growth, through selective, targeting of the PI3K pathway. Karus believes that KA2237 has broad therapeutic applicability in the treatment of hematological and solid tumors, as a single agent and in combination with other drugs.
This study forms part of the pre-clinical and clinical collaboration between Karus and the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the world’s leading cancer research and care center. The first part of the trial has been designed to assess the safety of KA2237 alone in relapsed, treatment-resistant B cell lymphoma patients. An expansion cohort study will follow and is scheduled to start in 2017. Karus anticipates that up to 40 patients will be treated over the entire study.
Dr. Simon Kerry, CEO of Karus Therapeutics, commented: “Our first clinical trial is a major milestone for the company. Karus has made exceptional progress and our collaboration with MD Anderson will help us to accelerate this clinical program. We believe that as an orally-active dual p110β/δ inhibitor, KA2237 has significant potential in the treatment of hematological and solid tumors in areas of high, unmet medical need.”
Professor Stephen Shuttleworth, CSO, added: “Our R&D programs are built on many years’ investment in research that have given us a deep understanding of PI3K medicinal chemistry and tumor biology. To take a scientific concept through rational de novo-design to create KA2237, a dual-selective, small molecule PI3K inhibitor that has been designed specifically to address areas of unmet medical need, is a very rewarding moment in our journey towards developing new cancer treatments for patients with few remaining therapeutic options.”
The agreement with MD Anderson covers a number of preclinical studies of Karus’s two cancer programs, KA2237 and KA2507, with a focus on identifying optimal drug combinations and the appropriate patient populations for further clinical development. The second program, KA2507, a selective-HDAC6 inhibitor, also has both a targeted therapy and immunotherapeutic action and has potential in the treatment of multiple myeloma, B- and T-cell lymphomas and PD-L1 expressing hematological and solid tumors.
About Karus Therapeutics
Karus Therapeutics is a leader in the development of innovative medicines that have breakthrough potential in the treatment of cancer. The Company’s scientific excellence is reflected in its proprietary PI3K and HDAC6 inhibitor programs, from which innovative small molecule drugs with significant clinical and commercial potential have been developed. The UK-based Company is privately-held with a strong financial track record and experienced investors, including SV Life Sciences, New Leaf Ventures, Novo A/S and IP Group. For further information please visit www.karustherapeutics.com
About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. MD Anderson is one of only 41 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). For the past 25 years, MD Anderson has ranked as one of the nation's top two cancer centers in U.S. News & World Report's annual "Best Hospitals" survey. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).