The company’s first targeted chemotherapy drug is an IGF-methotrexate conjugate. This involves the standard chemotherapy drug methotrexate chemically attached to an engineered form of the hormone insulin-like growth factor (IGF). The IGF-methotrexate zeroes in on IGF receptor proteins on cancer cells to specifically deliver the drug to cancer cells. In contrast, healthy cells receive very little drug. Testing in mice shows the IGF-methotrexate conjugate is more effective than methotrexate even when used at 15-times lower dose. The drug has completed human Phase I clinical trials and is now in a Phase 1b/2 clinical trial in myelodysplastic syndrome at the Mayo Clinic.
The company’s second candidate drug acts by a different proprietary mechanism. It also targets a receptor that is greatly overexpressed on cancer cells and thereby selectively kills cancer cells. We plan human clinical trials of this in late stage ovarian cancer.