Some of Moleculin’s anti-cancer drug candidates are developed based on discoveries made at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. Moleculin attended the symposium on July 17, where it announced the patented glucose decoy in a presentation titled “Synthesis of selectively acetylated 2-deoxy-D-glucoses, potential agents for treatment of brain tumors.”
All authors of the study are members of the Department of Experimental Therapeutics at MD Anderson Cancer Center.
The data presented was a detailed description of a novel facile and scalable synthesis of selectively derivatives of 2-Deoxy-D-glucose (2-DG), an inhibitor of glycolysis, that specifically allow for the large scale preparation of WP1122 with high purity.
There is currently no cure for high-grade malignant gliomas (GBMs) and clinicians and patients await new approaches to treating the disease. One promising therapy targets brain tumor metabolism.
Latentiation – the alteration of an active drug to extend or delay its action – of 2-DG was proposed by the study’s research team to improve brain uptake and drug-like properties.
The team specifically explored the potentials of the unique investigational esters of 2-DG as pro-drugs capable of effectively cross blood-brain barrier – an attempt that had failed in previous trials. Assuming that esterases can regenerate 2-DG, this new approach may lead to an enhanced circulation time and more suitable organ/tumor penetration.
For this approach to be commercially viable, the research team had to design and synthesize di-acetylated derivatives of 2-DG for the first time, as well as develop efficient and practical methods for their preparation.
“It has long been known that tumors, and especially brain tumors, are highly dependent on glucose to survive and utilize glycolysis as the method of glucose metabolism (known as the Warburg Effect),” Walter Klemp, Moleculin chairman and acting CEO, said in a press release. “We are very pleased that our collaborative researchers at MD Anderson Cancer Center were able to solve problems critical to clinical and subsequent commercial development of WP1122 and presented such meaningful data at such a prestigious, international gathering.”
“We believe that WP1122 has the potential to target a wide variety of solid tumors, which become resistant to all known treatments, and thereby provide a large and important opportunity for novel anticancer therapies as a single agent or in combination with existing drugs. We look forward to the advancement of this critical and potentially life-saving treatment,” Klemp said.