ONC201 was demonstrated as a safe and efficient drug in several preclinal studies against different types of human cancers. It is capable of inducing the death of cancer cells while leaving healthy cells out of harm.
This drug can specifically inactivate Akt and ERK (Ras effector target kinases) in tumor cells, leading to a cytotoxic signaling cascade that ultimately results in cell death.
Michael Andreeff, M.D., Ph.D., chief of molecular hematology and therapy , professor of medicine, and the Paul and Mary Haas Chair in Genetics commented in a news release, “We and others have conducted extensive preclinical studies on ONC201 before considering such an agreement and are hopeful that drug may turn into a valuable remedy against several malignancies. ONC201’s broad activity in a range of tumors, combined with benign toxicity, allows us to offer this clinical trial drug to patients who have exhausted their therapeutic options and can no longer tolerate aggressive treatments.”
The new collaboration will lead to clinical trials testing ONC201 effect in specific hematologic tumors, allowing the identification of the optimal settings for the clinical use of ONC201 as an anti-cancer therapeutic. Furthermore, the agreement includes the sharing of costs, risks and potential commercialization between the two entities.
Hagop Kantarjian, M.D., department chair and Kelcie Margaret Kana – Research Chair of Leukemia at MD Anderson added, “At MD Anderson, we are committed to innovation and transforming novel findings into clinical practice. Our highest goal is to find the gems in the innovative portfolio and expedite their introduction into clinical use. We believe that ONC201 deserves to be explored to verify its potential role as an anti-cancer drug. Ultimately, we strive to give our cancer patients more and better choices.”
Wolfgang Oster, M.D., Ph.D., chief executive officer of Oncoceutics also noted, “It is a privilege to work with the MD Anderson team on the development of ONC201 and the ambitious nature of the program speaks more than words can tell of the excitement behind the drug.”