MALVERN, Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Progenra, Inc. announced that it has received the Official Notice of Allowance (dated March 30, 2017) of its patent application entitled “Methods of treating cancer through the inhibition of USP7 and immune system modulation.” The patent, based on work described in a recent publication, is related to a new immune oncology therapy based on the inhibition of the ubiquitin-deconjugating enzyme USP7 by a small molecule. USP7 is a master positive regulator of cancer as it both directly supports the growth and survival of cancer cells and prevents the patient’s immune cells from recognizing and eradicating the tumor. Progenra is developing small molecule inhibitors of USP7 for clinical trial and, according to its President, Dr. Tauseef Butt, hopes to initiate Phase I in early 2018. He stated that “we continue to obtain data showing that our USP7 inhibitors have the potential to eliminate cancer by both direct cytotoxic and indirect immunological mechanisms. This class of drug could become a powerful alternative to the biological immune checkpoint inhibitors currently on the market (such as Opdivo and Keytruda), as well as a component of combination therapy with these agents.” In animal efficacy models, Progenra compounds have demonstrated anti-cancer activity that was superior to that of Yervoy, Opdivo, or Keytruda. These results point to a potentially radical development in cancer treatment -- a small molecule single agent that works as well as or better than combination protocols.
Progenra (www.progenra.com) aims to develop high value medicines exploiting protein regulatory pathways. Its early product portfolio addresses unmet needs in cancer, inflammation, and neurodegeneration. Utilizing its UbiPro™ Drug Discovery Platform, Progenra identifies novel modulators of its protein regulatory targets for drug development; its discovery platform is complemented by internal target validation, cell proof of concept, and medicinal chemistry.