Glactone Pharma is pleased to announce that the company’s recent preferential rights issue was fully subscribed. The capital injection will be used for further development of the company’s unique small-molecule inhibitors of STAT3 to enhance the efficacy and response of immunotherapies in immuno-oncology and for the treatment of advanced prostate cancer.
The new share issue, whose subscription period ended March 7, 2016, was a preferential rights issue for existing shareholders in Glactone Pharma. P.U.L.S. (Partners for Development Investments in Life Sciences), the founder of Glactone Pharma together with the innovators, maintains majority ownership in the company.
Martin Johansson, CEO of Glactone Pharma, said: “The great confidence and interest in Glactone Pharma that our new and existing shareholders show is very gratifying. This issue will contribute to the development of our small molecule STAT3 inhibitor project which will increase the value and the commercial and medical potential of the company.”
After the successful rights issue, Glactone Pharma can now focus on optimizing the druglike properties of its proprietary STAT3 inhibitors to accelerate the identification of a candidate drug for preclinical development and clinical studies. Having a well characterized and optimized candidate drug is an important milestone in the company’s development. The company is also focussed on studying its most advanced compounds in established immuno-oncology models to demonstrate that compounds that block STAT3 can be used in combination with approved immunotherapies to increase response rates and treatment efficacy. Concurrently, the company is continuing to present its project to investors and potential partners.
STAT3 is one of the most promising targets in cancer due to its involvement in many key disease processes including proliferation, tumor induced immunosuppression, drug resistance and metastasis. However, STAT3, which is a so called transcription factor, lacks the druggable characteristics of enzymes and cell receptors making it a very difficult drug target. Furthermore, it is an intracellular molecule and as such not amendable to be targeted by antibodies. Glactone Pharma has built a strong portfolio of small-molecule STAT3 inhibitors based on the naturally occurring STAT3 inhibitor GPA500. The innovators behind Glactone Pharma have previously demonstrated that GPA500 binds directly to STAT3 and that this prevents the function of STAT3 regardless of up-stream activators.
Immuno-oncology therapies are drugs or vaccines that have the ability to activate the immune system to recognize cancer cells and destroy them. Immunotherapy has the potential to revolutionize cancer treatment. One strategy of immunotherapy involves targeting checkpoint molecules that act as brakes on immune cells with e.g. PD-1 and PD-L1 antibodies, thereby unleashing a more powerful immune response. However, a majority of patients treated with anti-PD-1/PD-L1 monotherapies do not achieve objective responses and most tumor regressions are partial. To increase the number of patients who benefit from immune checkpoint blockade combination treatments are necessary. Preclinical models have indicated possible targets for combination treatment including STAT3.
About STAT3 and GPA500
The transcription factor STAT3 (Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3) is a protein that is involved in several mechanisms of carcinogenesis including the regulation of genes involved in cell proliferation, differentiation and metastasis. Constitutively active STAT3 is known to contribute to tumor progression and is considered a key factor in tumor induced immunosuppression and drug resistance. STAT3 is an ideal target for cancer therapy and inhibition of STAT3 represents a highly promising strategy in immuno-oncology.
GPA500 is a small molecule inhibitor of the transcription factor STAT3 with a unique mechanism of action. GPA500 directly inhibits STAT3 and reduces the proliferation of prostate cancer cells in vivo and in vitro. With GPA500 as a lead, Glactone Pharma has developed novel proprietary STAT3 inhibitors with improved drug-like properties.
About prostate cancer
Prostate cancer (PCa) is the most common form of cancer in men in the developed world, and it ranks second in cancer-related deaths, with the vast majority of these fatalities resulting from metastatic disease. There is a great need to find novel drugs with increased efficacy and reduced toxicity that can be used to prolong the effect of androgen receptor antagonists or be used when the disease becomes resistant to androgen receptor antagonists.
About Glactone Pharma
Glactone Pharma is a biotech company within P.U.L.S., a unique Swedish development company in life sciences, and is based on ground-breaking science from the University of Lund in Sweden. Glactone Pharma has developed a pipeline of novel potential drugs that target the STAT3 transcription factor for the use in immuno-oncology and for the treatment of castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). STAT3 is directly involved in tumor mediated immune suppression and resistance to androgen inhibition therapy making it an ideal target in combination treatments. To read more visit www.glactone.com and www.pulsinvest.se.
For more information please contact:
Jan Törnell, Chairman of the Board, Glactone Pharma, +46 (0)70-676 00 08 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Martin Johansson, CEO, Glactone Pharma, +1 705 768 0603 or email@example.com
P.U.L.S. (Partners för Utvecklingsinvesteringar inom Life Sciences) är ett unikt utvecklingsbolag inom life science. PULS investerar i tidiga projekt och aktivt utvecklar dem i nära samarbete med innovatörerna hela vägen från idé till attraktiva projekt för industrin. Sedan 2002 har PULS startat tio projektbolag och avyttrat tre, varav ett är börsintroducerat (LIDDS). PULS har sitt huvudkontor i Helsingborg. PULS pågående projekt är: AcuCort, Adenovir Pharma, Glactone Pharma, Laccure, Oncorena och Trophea. www.pulsinvest.se.