Targeted molecular cancer therapies offer new options for cancer patients. As targeted cancer therapies supplant conventional chemotherapies in clinical oncology practices, many cancer patients who do not meet a specific genomic profile are unable to benefit from the new therapies. In fact a majority of cancer patients cannot benefit from targeted therapies. Genprex technologies bridge a critical gap by combining with targeted therapies to provide treatments to large patient populations who would otherwise not be candidates for targeted therapies. For example, Oncoprex therapy is being combined with the EGFR TKI drug Tarceva® to treat patients without the EGFR mutation (prior chemo) and patients with an activating EGFR mutation, progressing on erlotinib. Patients without the EGFR mutation represent the vast majority of cancer patients, however these patients are usually not candidates for EGFR TKI therapies because of their genomic status. Genprex technologies are being developed to overcome genomic limitations, inherent in targeted therapies, to provide new treatment solutions to large cancer patient populations.
The Company’s lead product, Oncoprex, is a biologic therapy targeting key oncogenic pathways to treat tumors and cancer metastases at the molecular level. The active anti-cancer agent in Oncoprex is TUSC2, also known as FUS1, which is incorporated into nanovesicles and formulated for intravenous administration. TUSC2 was originally discovered as a tumor suppressor and was subsequently confirmed as a powerful pan-kinase inhibitor.
Normal TUSC2 function is inactivated at the early onset of cancer development making it a potential target for all stages of cancer including metastatic disease. TUSC2 protein is reduced or absent in over 80% of lung cancers. Key TUSC2 mechanisms of action include the inactivation of multiple oncogenic kinases, the induction of apoptosis and the control of cell signaling and inflammation.
Data shows that the majority of cancer drugs could be positively impacted with the addition of TUSC2-mediated therapy. Oncoprex is a biologic anti-cancer therapy comprising a cassette containing the TUSC2 pan-kinase inhibitor incorporated into nanovesicles and administered to patients intravenously. Oncoprex nanovesicles are non-immunogenic, allowing the particles to travel through the patient’s body to selectively and preferentially target cancer cells.
TUSC2 and Oncoprex (DOTAP chol: FUS1) have been the subject of more than 30 peer-reviewed publications. For access to our bibliography, click here.
Our second product candidate incorporates the NPRL2 tumor suppressor in our systemic nanovesicle delivery system. GPRX203 is in advanced preclinical development for combination use with platinum drugs for solid tumor indications. GPRX203 targets the DNA damage/repair signaling pathway to overcome drug resistance of DNA cross-linking agents such as cisplatin. DNA damaging chemotherapeutic drugs work by induction of DNA damage to interfere with specific molecular targets in the DNA repair pathway to induce apoptosis and circumvent tumor resistance. Overcoming drug resistance and reducing toxicities by lowering doses of chemotherapies while increasing efficacy are key goals in GPRX203 development strategies.
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