Medpacto, a subsidiary of Theregen ETEX, plans to develop Vactosertib, an immunotherapy agent, as a global first mover in biomarker-based anticancer therapy and change the cancer treatment paradigm, the company said Friday.
|Medpacto CEO Kim Seong-Jin explains his company's goal of expanding platforms in the global market, during a news conference at 63 Square in Yeouido, Seoul, Friday|
Vactosertib is a small molecule oral inhibitor that works explicitly on transforming growth factor (TGF)-beta receptor type 1 receptor, which is one of the mechanisms that obstruct the therapeutic effect of immunotherapeutic agents.
"The therapeutic effect of Vactosertib is believed to depend on the specific gene expression level of the tumor, regardless of the cancer area or type," Medpacto CEO Kim Seong-Jin said during a news conference ahead of the company's initial public offering (IPO). "Therefore, we expect the treatment will prove to be effective in various solid cancers with a lot of fibrotic tissue."
Kim stressed that Vactosertib improves the therapeutic environment so that immune cells can attack cancer cells.
"Such benefits allow the drug to be used as a combination treatment with all anticancer drugs, including immunotherapy, to maximize the therapeutic effect, and the benefits have attracted the attention of various multinational pharmaceutical companies," Kim said.
Medpacto is conducting phase 1b/2a clinical trials to evaluate the combination of Vactosertib with MSD's Keytruda (Pembrolizumab) and AstraZeneca's Imfinzi (Durvalumab) on lung cancer and gastric cancer patients. Put together, the company is running nine trial tests in Korea and the U.S.
"In the future, we expect that the development of anticancer drugs, which can be used in patients with high or low specific biomarkers regardless of cancer types, will accelerate," Kim said. "The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is also encouraging the development of biomarker-based innovative new drugs."
As all Medfecto's new drug pipelines are based on biomarkers, high response rates, and clinical success potential can be expected, Kim added.
CEO Kim also introduced MA-B2, a new antibody therapeutics pipeline targeting BCL2 associated athanogene 2 (BAG2) that disables immune cell activity, and MO-B2, a diagnostic kit that can detect BAG2 genes.
Kim emphasized that the company will continue to establish a mid- to long-term growth strategy by building various innovative new drug pipelines that can predict cancer recurrence and metastasis.
"As we still possess various candidate materials, we believe that it is possible to develop additional global new drugs," Kim said. "Right now, however, we are focusing on maximizing the value of Vactosertib."