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  • Prescient Therapeutics has begun its Phase 1b trial of its anti-cancer drug PTX-100
  • The aim of the trial is to identify the optimal dose and treatment time of PTX-100 in patients with a variety of different cancers
  • Its other treatment PTX-200 is also being trialled

Clinical oncology company Prescient Therapeutics has begun its Phase 1b trial of its second targeted anti-cancer drug PTX-100 in Australia.

This new study is designed to quickly identify the optimal dose and treatment time of PTX-100 in a variety of cancers including myeloma, T-cell lymphomas and gastric and pancreatic cancers.

PTX-100 is a first-in-class drug that works by blocking a common cancer growth enzyme which plays a key role in cancer cell transformation. It disrupts the oncogenic Ras pathways by inhabiting the activation of the Rho, Rac and Ral circuits in cancer cells which causes them to die.

Researchers will monitor the mutational status of patients’ cancerous growths and will use a small sample to seek and understand this status with clinical trials. They will also study several cancer biomarkers to identify patients who are most likely to respond to PTX-100 therapy.

Earlier studies completed at the Indiana State and Pennsylvania State Universities showed that when PTX-100 was taken by patients with advanced and solid tumours it was well tolerated and a stable disease was achieved.

Unlike conventional trials the new study will assess the drug on multiple cancers with a view on addressing specific mutations rather than the origin. The approach has been used by several US companies to faster identify cancer patients who could potentially benefit from the therapy.

This trial will enrolling up to 24 participants to evaluate the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of the drug as well as the safety and efficiency of two different doses in patients. The aim is to identify the optimal time and dose.

Prescient’s other product PTX-200 is currently in Phase 2 of its trial at the Montefiore Cancer Centre in New York and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Centre in Florida.

PTX-200 is a PH inhibitor that inhibits an important tumour survival pathway known as Akt, which plays an important role in the development of cancers such as breast, ovarian and leukaemia.

Unlike other medications that target Akt inhibition PTX-200 is relatively safer and non-toxic.

Prescient shares remain unchanged sitting at 3.9 cents with a market cap of $15.37 million.

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