Philadelphia, PA (February 16, 2016) – Oncoceutics, Inc. announced the publication of companion research articles in the American Association for the Advancement of Science journal Science Signaling that describe ONC201’s ability to uniquely activate the integrated stress response, a powerful anti-cancer signaling pathway. The companion articles from leading groups at MD Anderson Cancer Center and Fox Chase Cancer Center, headed by Drs. Michael Andreeff and Wafik El-Deiry, describe research studies that independently arrived at similar findings in liquid and solid tumors.
The two researchers’ groups carried out a series of in-vitro and in-vivo efficacy experiments with ONC201 and ultimately uncovered a novel and central aspect of its mechanism by analyzing gene expression profiles in lymphoma and colorectal cancers. Their data demonstrate that ONC201 has a distinct way to engage the integrated stress response that upregulates a host of proteins that induce tumor cell death and inhibit the synthesis of proteins that are key for cancer growth.
This newly clarified upstream element of the ONC201 mechanism corroborates and provides further support for the selection of the initial oncology indications that Oncoceutics is pursuing in clinical trials, including lymphomas and multiple myeloma as well as certain solid tumors, such as glioblastoma and prostate cancer, that are particularly susceptible to the integrated stress response. The engagement of this particular pathway has proven to be effective with currently commercialized oncology drugs such as proteasome inhibitors. However, the way ONC201 activates the integrated response is distinct from other drugs on the market, allowing it to retain efficacy against tumors that generate resistance to other therapies, synergize with other therapies, and exhibit a superior safety profile.
“Having two different leading research groups independently arrive at the same conclusion regarding the role of the integrated stress response in the mechanism of ONC201 provides a key piece of information to understand how this novel drug works,” said Joseph Bertino, MD, Chief Scientific Officer of Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey and member of the Oncoceutics’ Scientific Advisory Board. “The unique way in which ONC201 targets previously validated pathways, combined with ONC201’s excellent safety profile and ease of oral administration, demonstrates ONC201’s potential to be an important oncology therapeutic.”
Oncoceutics, Inc. is a clinical-stage drug discovery and development company targeting potent suppressor pathways in human cancer. The first lead compound that entered clinical development from this program is ONC201, a small molecule with an active angular structure and a first-in-class mechanism of action that causes significant anti-tumor activity in a variety of human cancers. The company recently completed a successful Phase I study in solid tumors and has begun Phase II clinical programs in both solid and hematological malignancies. Oncoceutics has been awarded several competitive grants for its development programs with ONC201 and its other candidates in this new class of compounds. In addition, outside interest in the company’s portfolio has resulted in several R&D alliance agreements between Oncoceutics and leading comprehensive cancer centers, including The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the Fox Chase Cancer Center. The company has established a robust Intellectual property position, including several issued patents.
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About MD Anderson Cancer Center
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. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 45 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is ranked No.1 for cancer care in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospital’s” survey. It has ranked as one of the nation’s top two hospitals since the survey began in 1990, and has ranked first for 11 of the past 14 years. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).
About Fox Chase Cancer Center
Fox Chase Cancer Center, part of the Temple University Health System, is one of the leading cancer research and treatment centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation’s first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center’s nursing program has received the Magnet status for excellence four consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, visit Fox Chase’s web site at http://www.