CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--PanTher Therapeutics (PanTher), a privately held oncology company revolutionizing the treatment of solid tumors with its proprietary treatment platform designed for direct, localized, and sustained delivery of proven and novel therapeutic agents, announced today that it received approval from the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) to open a Phase 1 clinical trial of PTM-101 in Australia. PTM-101 is being developed for the treatment of pancreatic cancer.
“Pancreatic tumors are notoriously difficult to treat, which is why pancreatic cancer has the highest mortality rate of all major cancers with a 5-year relative survival rate of just 10%,” said Laura Indolfi, CEO and Co-Founder of PanTher Therapeutics. “Approval for this first-in-human trial of our lead candidate, PTM-101, brings us one step closer in our journey to deliver effective treatments for the deadliest, most difficult-to-treat cancers.”
The company also announced today the appointment of J. Marc Pipas, MD, as Chief Medical Officer and the establishment of its clinical advisory board, composed of key opinion leaders with specific expertise in pancreatic cancer and other solid tumors. Dr. Pipas, a veteran gastrointestinal (GI) oncologist and clinical trialist who has assisted in the development of multiple oncology agents from Phase 1 trials through commercialization, will direct PanTher’s clinical development programs.
Dr. Pipas is a graduate of SUNY-Health Science Center at Syracuse, and completed his Residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, followed by a Fellowship in Medical Oncology at Dartmouth. He spent more than 20 years at Dartmouth Medical School and Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, where he was promoted to Full Professor and served as Director of the GI Oncology Program, and Interdisciplinary Pancreas Cancer Clinic. He also spent several years as Director of the Office of Clinical Research at the Norris Cotton Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and Director of the Hematology-Oncology Fellowship program.
Following his academic career, Dr. Pipas joined Merrimack Pharmaceuticals as Vice President, Medical Director, where he was involved in program development of ONIVYDE®, which received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for pancreatic cancer and was subsequently sold to Ipsen Pharmaceuticals for $1 billion. Dr. Pipas also served as Executive Medical Director, Clinical Development, for H3 Biomedicine, a subsidiary of Eisai Pharmaceuticals, where he focused his energies on Phase 1 Oncology drug trials in GI and breast cancer.
“PanTher’s unique approach to tackling difficult-to-treat deadly cancers has the potential to change the way oncologists approach patients with solid tumors,” said Dr. Pipas. “I am excited to join PanTher at this important moment in the company’s development and look forward to working with the team to capitalize on the strong preclinical data and advance this potentially life-saving platform.”
“Dr. Pipas has dedicated his career to bringing new therapies to the clinic, and we are thrilled to have him join the PanTher team,” said Indolfi. “He brings a deep commitment to patients that fully aligns with our mission to empower oncologists to treat patients with life-threatening cancers by unlocking a drug’s full potential through targeted treatment at the tumor site.”
Dr. Pipas will also chair PanTher’s newly established clinical advisory board, which will play an active role in guiding the company’s long-term strategy and pipeline development. He will be joined by four prominent key opinion leaders with extensive experience in GI oncology:
- Thomas E. Clancy, MD, FACS, is co-director of the Pancreas and Biliary Tumor Center and Medical Director of Multispecialty Surgical Oncology at the Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women's Cancer Center in Boston. His clinical interests include GI malignancies, pancreatic and liver tumors, and minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Clancy is also an Assistant Professor of Surgery at Harvard Medical School, where he received his Doctor of Medicine.
- Jason Fleming, MD, is chair of the Department of Gastrointestinal Oncology at Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, Florida. Dr. Fleming’s previous roles include Chief of Pancreas Surgery and Professor with tenure in the Department of Surgical Oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and scientific and medical advisory board member for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN). Dr. Fleming has received several notable honors for his work, including the President’s Faculty Recognition Award for Outstanding Contribution to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.
- Timothy B. Gardner, MD, is Director of the Gastroenterology & Hepatology Fellowship Program and Director of Pancreatic Disorders at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He is also Medical Director of the Islet Cell Transplant Program and is associate professor of medicine at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine. He specializes in gastroenterology and hepatology with particular focus in endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP), endoscopic ultrasound, liver disease, malabsorptive disease, and pancreatic disease.
- Theodore (Ted) Sunki Hong, MD, is an accomplished physician-scientist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, where he serves as Director of Gastrointestinal Radiation Oncology and Co-Director of the Tucker Gosnell Center for Gastrointestinal Cancers. In addition to practicing medicine, Dr. Hong conducts research involving targeted therapies for the treatment of GI cancers.
About PanTher Therapeutics
PanTher Therapeutics (PanTher) is a privately held oncology company revolutionizing cancer care with a proprietary treatment platform designed to enhance therapeutic response while minimizing side effects. PanTher is currently investigating the platform for the treatment of solid tumors, and the company is initiating its first clinical trial for its lead indication, pancreatic cancer. The technology at the foundation of PanTher’s proprietary treatment was developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and was subsequently in-licensed by PanTher. The platform empowers oncologists to treat patients with life-threatening cancer by unlocking a drug’s full potential through direct, sustained treatment at the tumor site. This unique targeting capability positions PanTher to take on the deadliest and most acute cancers. For more information, visit www.panthertx.com.