SAN DIEGO, April 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: ONCT), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel oncology therapies, today announced the presentation of two abstracts at the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2021 Annual Meeting being held virtually from June 4-8, 2021.
Abstract Number for Publication: 11500
Abstract Title: TK216 for relapsed/refractory Ewing sarcoma: Interim phase 1/2 results
Session Title: Sarcoma
Session Date and Time: June 4, 2021 from 1:30 pm - 4:30 pm Eastern Time
Abstract Number for Publication: 7556
Abstract Title: Phase 1/2 study of cirmtuzumab and ibrutinib in mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) or chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL)
Poster Session: Hematologic Malignancies — Lymphoma and Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
Session Date and Time: June 7, 2021 at 11:30 am Eastern Time
TK216 is an investigational, potentially first-in-class, targeted small-molecule inhibitor of the E26 transformation-specific (ETS) family of oncoproteins including fusion proteins. Tumorigenic fusion proteins involving the EWS protein and an ETS protein can be found in most cases of Ewing sarcoma. ETS-related translocations or overexpression are also found in many other tumors such as prostate cancer and acute myeloid leukemia (AML). TK216 was developed based on discoveries in the laboratory of Jeffrey Toretsky, M.D., at Georgetown Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center, who discovered inhibitors of EWS-FLI1 using a novel chemical screening assay. In preclinical models, TK216 was observed to bind to EWS-FLI1, blocking the interaction between this fusion protein and other transcriptome proteins such as RNA helicase A, leading to tumor cell apoptosis and inhibiting tumor growth in animal models. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted Rare Pediatric Disease Designation, Orphan Drug Designation and Fast Track Status to TK216 for the treatment of Ewing sarcoma. TK216 is an investigational medication that has not been approved by the FDA for any indication.
Cirmtuzumab is an investigational, potentially first-in-class monoclonal antibody targeting ROR1, or Receptor tyrosine kinase-like Orphan Receptor 1. Cirmtuzumab is currently being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in combination with ibrutinib for the treatment of MCL or CLL, in a collaboration with the University of California San Diego (UC San Diego) School of Medicine and the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). In addition, Oncternal is supporting two investigator-sponsored studies being conducted at the UC San Diego School of Medicine: (i) a Phase 1b clinical trial of cirmtuzumab in combination with paclitaxel for the treatment of women with HER2-negative metastatic or locally advanced, unresectable breast cancer, and (ii) a Phase 2 clinical trial of cirmtuzumab in combination with venetoclax, a Bcl-2 inhibitor, in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL.
ROR1 is a potentially attractive target for cancer therapy because it is an onco-embryonic antigen – not usually expressed on adult cells, and its expression confers a survival and fitness advantage when reactivated and expressed by tumor cells. Researchers at the UC San Diego School of Medicine discovered that targeting a critical epitope on ROR1 was key to specifically targeting ROR1 expressing tumors. This led to the development of cirmtuzumab, that binds this critical epitope of ROR1, which is highly expressed on many different cancers but not on normal tissues. Preclinical data showed that when cirmtuzumab bound to ROR1, it blocked Wnt5a signaling, inhibited tumor cell proliferation, migration and survival, and induced differentiation of the tumor cells. The FDA has granted Orphan Drug Designations to cirmtuzumab for the treatment of MCL and CLL/small lymphocytic lymphoma. Cirmtuzumab is in clinical development and has not been approved by the FDA for any indication.
About Oncternal Therapeutics
Oncternal Therapeutics is a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel oncology therapies for the treatment of cancers with critical unmet medical need. Oncternal focuses drug development on promising yet untapped biological pathways implicated in cancer generation or progression. The clinical pipeline includes cirmtuzumab, an investigational monoclonal antibody designed to inhibit the ROR1 pathway, a type I tyrosine kinase-like orphan receptor, that is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial in combination with ibrutinib for the treatment of patients with mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) and chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and in investigator-sponsored, Phase 1b clinical trial in combination with paclitaxel for the treatment of women with HER2-negative metastatic or locally advanced, unresectable breast cancer, as well as a Phase 2 clinical trial of cirmtuzumab in combination with venetoclax, a Bcl-2 inhibitor, in patients with relapsed/refractory CLL. We are also developing a chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapy that targets ROR1, which is currently in preclinical development as a potential treatment for hematologic cancers and solid tumors. The clinical pipeline also includes TK216, an investigational targeted small-molecule inhibitor of the ETS family of oncoproteins, that is being evaluated in a Phase 1/2 clinical trial for patients with Ewing sarcoma alone and in combination with vincristine chemotherapy. More information is available at https://oncternal.com.
Oncternal cautions you that statements included in this press release that are not a description of historical facts are forward-looking statements. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplates,” “believes,” “estimates,” “predicts,” “potential” or “continue” or the negatives of these terms or other similar expressions. These statements are based on the Company’s current beliefs and expectations. Forward-looking statements include statements regarding Oncternal’s development of TK216 and cirmtuzumab. Forward looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties inherent in Oncternal’s business, which include, but are not limited to the risk that interim results of the ongoing clinical trials and/or preclinical studies of cirmtuzumab and TK216 do not necessarily predict final results and that one or more of the clinical outcomes may materially change as patient enrollment continues, following more comprehensive reviews of the data, and as more patient data become available and other risks described in the Company’s filings with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements in this press release are current only as of the date hereof and, except as required by applicable law, Oncternal undertakes no obligation to revise or update any forward-looking statement, or to make any other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. All forward-looking statements are qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. This caution is made under the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Corey Davis, Ph.D.
Source: Oncternal Therapeutics, Inc.