San Carlos, CA September 26, 2016 - Cellerant Therapeutics, Inc., a clinical-stage company developing innovative cell- and antibody-based immunotherapies for hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) and other blood-related disorders, announced that the National Cancer Institute has awarded the Company a $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II contract to support preclinical development of CSC012-ADC, a novel antibody drug-conjugate to treat acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS). CSC012-ADC targets the interleukin 1 receptor accessory protein (IL1RAP), which has been shown to be expressed on leukemic cancer stem cells, but not on normal hematopoietic stem cells. The award will fund preclinical studies and other activities over the next two years which, if successful, will position the Company to pursue an Investigational New Drug application for CSC012-ADC.
"We are very pleased to receive this award to support the development of CSC012-ADC and address a high unmet medical need," said Ram Mandalam, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Cellerant. "Our studies to date show IL1RAP to be a promising target for the treatment of AML and MDS, which are aggressive diseases with low survival rates, particularly among elderly patients. We believe our approach of targeting and killing the leukemic cancer stem cells with an IL1RAP antibody drug-conjugate has the potential to improve outcomes for AML and MDS patients."
This contract was awarded by the National Cancer Institute under the Small Business Research Innovation Research Program Contract Topic 326, "Development of Novel Therapeutic Agents that Target Cancer Stem Cells." IL1RAP has been shown to be expressed on leukemic cancer stem cells and on tumors from several solid cancers. The Company was previously awarded an SBIR Phase 1 contract to support research and development of IL1RAP antibodies.
Cellerant Therapeutics is a clinical-stage company developing innovative cell- and antibody-based immunotherapies for hematologic malignancies (blood cancers) and other blood-related disorders. Cellerant's most advanced program is CLT-008 (human myeloid progenitor cells), a universal cell therapy for the treatment of neutropenia. Chemotherapy-induced neutropenia is a severe side effect of many chemotherapy regimens, particularly for AML and other hematologic malignancies. CLT-008 is currently in a randomized, controlled Phase 2 clinical trial in patients with AML. Cellerant is also developing two antibody drug-conjugate (ADC) product candidates: CSC030-ADC, intended to treat AML by selectively targeting and killing leukemic stem and blast cells, and CSC012-ADC, which targets leukemic and pre-leukemic stem cells as a potential treatment for acute leukemias, myelodysplastic syndromes and a number of solid tumors.
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