RTA 402 Shown to Protect Animals Against Toxicities of Standard Cancer Treatments
Reata scientists and collaborators presented data showing that when RTA 402 is given in combination with radiation therapy to rats bearing human lung cancer tumors, the drug protected non-cancerous tissue from radiation damage while simultaneously enhancing the anti-tumor effect of the radiation treatment. The senior author of this presentation was Dr. Stephen Sonis of the Harvard Medical School, a well-known expert on cancer supportive care. RTA 402 is a novel, orally administered targeted therapy that inhibits the transcriptional activity of NF-kB and STAT3. Correlative studies presented at MASSC confirmed that RTA 402 inhibited NF-kB in both tumor and normal tissue and decreased many circulating inflammatory cytokines in the animals including TNF(alpha), MMP-9, IL-6, IL-8, and VEGF. In related studies, administration of RTA 402 reduced the duration and severity of radiation and chemotherapy-induced oral mucositis in hamster models of the disease and improved survival in animals receiving toxic doses of two common chemotherapy treatments, doxorubicin and oxaliplatin.
Confirmation of these preclinical results in the ongoing clinical trials of RTA 402 would make the drug an important addition to current treatment regimens. Radiation and chemotherapy cause unpleasant and life-threatening side effects in cancer patients. These therapy-related side effects are often dose limiting and cause delays in treatment or a reduction in treatment intensity, hampering the anti-cancer effects of the treatment. Consequently, an agent that reduces these toxicities and also has a significant direct anti-cancer effect would likely gain rapid acceptance in a variety of first-line and second-line treatment settings.
RTA 402 has recently begun Phase 2 clinical studies in cancer patients. An ongoing Phase 1 study in cancer patients has indicated that RTA 402 has potent single-agent anti-cancer activity in patients with several different types of tumors, is well tolerated with only mild, transient side effects, and suppresses its target proteins NF-kB and STAT3 in human tumors. A Phase 1/2 study of RTA 402 in combination with gemcitabine is underway in patients with pancreatic cancer. Analogues of RTA 402 are in advanced preclinical development for cancer, anti-inflammatory, and neurodegenerative indications.
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on selecting and discovering promising early drug development opportunities and translating them into successful marketed drugs that target major unmet clinical needs in cancer, inflammation and neurodegenerative disease. The company's two lead programs are entering advanced clinical trials for deadly, late-stage cancers. In parallel with its clinical development, Reata is advancing a breakthrough drug discovery platform using protein misfolding, identified as a key factor in cancer and neurodegenerative disease, to feed its pipeline of small molecule therapeutic candidates. Reata takes a new and different approach to biotechnology, managing its pipeline as a portfolio of opportunities that can be advanced on a single management and physical infrastructure, streamlining the route to human trials and approval. Founded in 2002, Reata is based in the Dallas area. For more information, visit www.reatapharma.com
For Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Kathryn Morris, 845-635-9828
Posted: June 2007