MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Clinical-stage oncology company Prescient Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:PTX; Prescient) announced that a pre-clinical study published in the scientific journal Nature this week indicates that Prescient’s geranylgeranyl transferase inhibitor GGTI-2418, known as PTX-100, plays a key role in mitigating a new cancer pathway discovered by Professor Michele Pagano at New York University’s Langone Medical Center, in New York. Nature is regarded as one of the world’s most cited and prestigious scientific publications.
In the study, Professor Pagano’s group in collaboration with Prescient’s Chief Scientific Officer Professor Said Sebti demonstrated new details about the tumor suppressor gene, PTEN, which is defective in 30-60% of certain breast, brain and uterine cancers.
“When defective, PTEN cannot control a protein known as FBXL2, which is thought to be responsible for cancer growth in many patients,” said Professor Pagano.
Professor Pagano’s study also showed in mouse models that when administered with Prescient’s drug candidate PTX-100, plus photodynamic therapy, FBXL2 is “switched-off” allowing abnormal cells to self-destruct. Therefore, patients whose tumors harbor defective PTEN may also be more likely to respond to a combination of PTEN and photodynamic therapy.
Professor Said Sebti said, “These findings have important translational implications for Prescient as patients whose tumors harbor defective PTEN may be more likely to respond to a combination of PTX-100 and photodynamic therapy.”
“Furthermore, given that PTEN is known to also suppress the Akt tumor survival pathway, patients with PTEN defective tumors could respond to a combination of PTX-100 and an Akt inhibitor like PTX-200.”
Prescient’s CEO and Managing Director, Steven Yatomi-Clarke said, “This discovery of a new cancer-causing pathway targeted by PTX-100 is an exciting development for Prescient. Our precision medicine strategy uses targeted therapies to address specific cancer mutations. Therefore, this discovery opens up a new frontier of clinical possibilities for PTX-100.”
“PTEN has been the subject of cancer research for many years, but this new study is very exciting in showing a novel way in which defective PTEN adds to cancer risk, and more importantly, demonstrates that it can be inhibited with PTX-100.”
PTX-100 was developed by Professor Sebti, Chair of the Department of Drug Discovery at H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center, and Chief Scientific Officer at Prescient Therapeutics, and NYU President Andrew Hamilton while he was at Yale University. PTX-100 has already been tested as a single agent in patients with advanced solid tumors in a Phase 1 trial and will be the focus of studies in rare hematological malignancies.
The Nature publication can be previewed at www.nature.com.