Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Curtana (Patented small molecule therapeutics that target cancer stem cells for the treatment of glioblastoma and other brain cancers)
Reporting period: 2017-02-01 to 2017-05-31
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most aggressive cancer of the brain and the second most common after meningioma. Approximately 3.19 in 100,000 people develop the disease per year. Based on the incidence rate, it is estimated that 23,700 people will develop GBM in Europe in 2017. The average age of onset is around 64 years old. Typically, treatment of GBM includes surgery followed by chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Because GBM cells are infiltrative throughout the brain and not all cancer cells are removed by the surgery or killed by the chemotherapy and radiation, most people with GBM later develop recurrent disease. The median survival time is approximately 15 months and the 5-year survival rate is less than 10%. Curtana has developed CT-179, an adjuvant to standard of care therapy in the treatment of GBM and other brain cancers. CT-179 directly targets Olig2, a transcription factor expressed in GBM that drives tumour growth and resistance to radiation therapy. Olig2 is not found in healthy brain cells and normal tissues outside the central nervous system (CNS), which means that CT-179 will be far less toxic compared to conventional cancer drugs. In addition to killing the GBM cancer cells, CT-179 makes the radiation therapy more effective and limits the cancer’s ability to invade into healthy tissue. In animal models, CT-179 has been shown to significantly improve survival times. When combined with the current standard of care therapies, CT-179 dramatically delays or prevents tumour growth. The key objectives of the innovation project are to advance CT-179 through a Phase I clinical trial to determine the maximum safe and well-tolerated dose when used in combination with standard of care therapies and measure drug concentrations in the tumour.
Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far
Curtana undertook a full analysis of the both the technical and business potential of CT-179. Curtana reviewed results from the preclinical trials and defined the remaining preclinical activities to be completed prior to in-human trials. Curtana also performed detailed market analysis to effectively size the number of patients in Europe and their reachable market. Curtana also reviewed their approach to later stage drug development and determined two different possible strategies. Curtana also performed a detailed assessment of potential CRO partners selecting the most suitable for the management of Phase I clinical trials.
Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)
The expected outcome of the project is to perform the Phase I clinical trial and determine MTD and drug concentration levels within the tumour. The results will then be utilised to gain further investment and advance the development of the drug. The CT-179 development will boost economic growth and create jobs within Curtana and on a wider scale with CMOs and CROs in Europe.