NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Rgenix, Inc., a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing first-in-class small molecule and antibody cancer therapeutics using its unique target discovery platform, today announced treatment of the first patient with its lead candidate RGX-104 in a Phase 1a/b study. The 80-patient study consists of an initial dose-escalation stage involving patients with advanced solid malignancies and lymphoma, in which an optimal biological dose is being defined using pharmacokinetic, pharmacodynamic, biomarker and safety studies. This will be followed by an expansion stage in at least four cancer types, in which detection of preliminary efficacy signals will be determined.
RGX-104 is an orally administered small molecule that selectively targets the nuclear receptor LXR to activate the expression of the ApoE protein that becomes silenced in human cancers as they grow, become invasive, and metastasize. ApoE silencing is related to reduced survival in cancer patients. The LXR-ApoE pathway was originally identified as a cancer target using a novel microRNA-based discovery platform developed by Rgenix’s scientific co-founders at The Rockefeller University who demonstrated that the pathway regulates the ability of cancers to evade the immune system and recruit blood vessels.
Rgenix’s scientists showed that RGX-104 reverses the immune suppressive and pro-angiogenic effects of cancers by potently activating ApoE expression in cancer and highly specific circulating immune cells, leading to the elimination of these immunosuppressive cells and blood vessels in the tumor microenvironment. RGX-104 treatment confers robust anti-cancer activity and suppression of metastases in a wide range of well-established animal models of multiple human cancer types, including drug-resistant malignancies. In addition to its profound and diverse actions as a single agent, RGX-104 blocks resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors, providing a rationale to combine RGX-104 with these therapies in patients who either do not initially respond to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy alone, or those who at first benefited, but soon after developed resistance. RGX-104 was granted Orphan Drug Designation by the FDA for the treatment of several cancer types of high unmet need.
“RGX-104 represents the first LXR-ApoE targeting drug in clinical development for cancer,” said Masoud Tavazoie, MD, PhD, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Rgenix. He added, “Because of its ability to inhibit tumor growth and metastasis as a single agent in drug-resistant cancer types via a novel mechanism, RGX-104 has the potential to transform the treatment landscape for several common cancer types, addressing urgent unmet needs in oncology.”
Dr. Michael Postow, a member of the Melanoma and Immunotherapeutics Service at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, one of the RGX-104 study sites, commented, "We are excited about RGX-104's potential to treat a broad array of cancers given its unique effect on the immune system and strong pre-clinical activity both as a single agent and in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor.”
The same discovery platform used to identify the ApoE pathway in cancer has been used to discover several other key regulators of cancer progression that Rgenix is targeting with first-in-class small-molecule and antibody drug candidates as part of its novel therapeutics pipeline.
For more information about the clinical trial visit: https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02922764
Rgenix, Inc., is a privately-held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the discovery and development of novel cancer drugs that target key pathways in cancer progression. Using a miRNA based target discovery platform developed by Rgenix’s founders at The Rockefeller University, the company is pursuing several first-in-class drug candidates to treat cancers of high unmet need. The company brings together distinguished scientific founders, a seasoned Board, and a leadership team comprised of experienced drug developers. The company is funded by leading biotechnology investors, including Novo A/S, Sofinnova Partners, and Alexandria Venture Investments. For more information, please visit www.rgenix.com.