Metastatic Breast Cancer Clinical Trials
EpiAxis Therapeutics is pursuing a preclinical and clinical drug development program directed at the prevention of metastatic disease by targeting the pivotal enzyme system controlling the proliferation of cancer stem cells (CSC). Specifically, that target is the nuclear bound lysine-specific demethylase 1 (LSD1) & its upstream regulator, the theta isoform of protein kinase C (PKC theta).
The research identifying this target and the intellectual property (IP) that resulted from this was developed by Professor Sudha Rao and colleagues, who are now based at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia. The Company is focused initially on the prevention of metastatic breast cancer, with other CSC mediated diseases such as ovarian, pancreatic, colon, melanoma, lung and liver cancers to be pursued later.
Clinical, Pre-clinical & Discovery program
EpiAxis is pursuing three parallel arms to its development plan, namely a clinical, a pre-clinical and a discovery inhibitor arm..
The people behind EpiAxis
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Metastasis and recurrence of cancer are associated with over 90% of cancer deaths. These secondary cancers are often located in other parts of the body, separate for the primary tumour and can be more aggressive and, therefore, more difficult to treat. The treatment of cancer stem cells, which are known to be resistant to current therapies and remain dormant in the body even after successful chemotherapy, is now offering a new frontier in the prevention and management of metastatic disease.
Professor Rao’s team have identified the pivotal enzyme, LSD1, as being responsible for cancer stem cell proliferation. By blocking this enzyme with an inhibitor, the team believes it can prevent these cancerous stem cells from “reseeding” from the primary tumour to other locations within the body. Data from animal studies has consistently shown that this blocking strategy is most effective at lowering the cancer stem cell burden when combined with standard chemotherapy.
There is a substantial unmet clinical need when it comes to fighting recurrent, metastatic breast cancer. This is the major cause of death in women with breast cancer. We aim to address that unmet need by the novel targeting of breast cancer stem cells, which are resistant to conventional systemic anticancer therapies and therefore contribute to the failure of these therapies in patients.
Professor Sudha Rao
Founder at EpiAxis Therapeutics