CrystalGenomics said it would change the form of an investigational molecular targeted therapy for cancer, called “CG-745,” from injection to oral drug in all clinical trials.
The biopharmaceutical firm is seeking to win a patent on the oral form of the experimental drug at the same time, it said.
CG-745 is a molecular targeted anticancer agent that weakens or destroys cancer cells’ command system by inhibiting the function of the epigenetic protein called Histone Deacetylase (HDAC), which is highly expressed only in cancer cells.
The company is testing the treatment in injection forms in patients with pancreatic cancer and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS).
As the company recently applied for a patent on the oral form of the drug, it will use oral forms in future trials on CG-745, the biotech firm said.
Participating cancer patients had to visit the hospital to receive intravenous injections in the past. However, oral forms will allow patients to continue the treatment without a visit to the hospital, the company said.
“We expect that the oral forms will make it more convenient for cancer patients to take the medications and lower the financial costs,” an official at CrystalGenomics said. “Oral forms will significantly improve the treatment condition for cancer patients.”
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety designated CG-745 as a clinical-stage orphan drug for MDS in 2015 and pancreatic cancer in 2018.
Thus, the company can sell the drug after the completion of the phase-2 trial. The company said it would also get a benefit in drug pricing and the guarantee of the exclusive sales rights.
Studies on CG-745 for the treatment of pancreatic cancer are taking place at Yonsei University Severance Hospital, and those for MDS, at Asan Medical Center, Samsung Medical Center, and Seoul National University Hospital.
The pharmaceutical firm is also developing a combination therapy mixing CG-745 with immunotherapy called “CBT-501,” a new antibody against the Programmable Death-1 (PD-1) membrane receptor on immune cells, developed by U.S. venture CBT Pharmaceuticals.
CrystalGenomics agreed with CBT Pharmaceuticals to develop a combo treatment and commercialize it in the global market. The two are soon to begin a trial in patients with solid cancer.