The goal of this program is to complete the appropriate preclinical studies to support an IND for a first-in- class small molecule therapeutic for triple negative (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 negative) breast cancer with an emphasis on reducing recurrence and increasing survival rates. Unlike other forms of breast cancer, no targeted therapy exists for triple negative tumors. Unfortunately, triple negative breast cancers (TNBC) can be particularly aggressive and more likely to recur than other breast cancer subtypes, resulting in an increased risk of death. Eukaryotic mRNAs possess a unique capped 5'-end (m7GpppN) that is required for initiation of protein synthesis known as cap-dependent translation and in normal cells, is tightly controlled. Deregulation of cap-dependent translation can lead to uncontrolled growth, a hallmark of cancer cells. A prime target of protein synthesis control is the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E (eIF4E), best known for ts function in the initiation of protein synthesis on m7GpppN capped mRNAs in the cell. A high percentage of triple negative breast tumors have high levels of eIF4E expression and elevated levels of eIF4E have been shown to correlate with higher rates of recurrence and increased risk of death. Because high levels of eIF4E represent high rates of cap-dependent translation;the focus of this proposal is on compounds that selectively inhibit cap-dependent translation of proteins In Phase I of this proposal, NovoMedix demonstrated in vivo safety and efficacy of three novel inhibitors of cap-dependent translation in animal models of triple negative breast cancer. A patent has been applied for that covers two of these compounds (composition of matter patent for the treatment, prevention, and/or amelioration of various disorders, including cancer) and NovoMedix is currently working on a patent application for the third compound. In Phase II of this proposal, NovoMedix will perform additional in vitro safety testing on these first in-class therapeutics to identify potential cardiac and hemolytic risks and identify potent drug interactions;to further delineate the mechanism-of-action by which these drugs effectively kill cancer cells in TNBC mouse models;and perform exploratory and definitive preclinical studies to determine dosing range, dosing route (oral or i.v.), and dosing schedule in support of an IND and to advance one or more of these drugs into clinical trials.
The specific aims for this Phase II proposal are: 1) to assess cardiac risks and identify potential drug-drug interactions, 2) to identify the mechanism of inhibition of cap-dependent translation initiation, 3) , select a safe an effective route of administration, dosing range, and dosing schedule in a triple negative breast cancer model, 4) conduct analytical characterization, formulation, and GMP scale-up to support GLP preclinical studies and Phase I/II clinical trials, and 5) perform GLP toxicity and toxicokinetic studies in two relevant species to identify an appropriate starting dose for use in first-in-human Phase I/II clinical trials.

Public Health Relevance

The goal of this program is to complete the appropriate preclinical studies to support an IND for a first-in-class small molecule therapeutics for triple negative (estrogen receptor, progesterone receptor, and HER2 negative) breast cancer with an emphasis on reducing recurrence and increasing survival rates.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Type
Small Business Innovation Research Grants (SBIR) - Phase II (R44)
Project #
5R44CA144156-04
Application #
8726929
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1)
Program Officer
Rahbar, Amir M
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
4
Fiscal Year
2014
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
Novomedix, Inc.
Department
Type
DUNS #
City
San Diego
State
CA
Country
United States
Zip Code
92121