Cancer Targeted Technology (CTT), a privately-held Seattle-based biotechnology firm focusing on cancer diagnostics and therapeutics, announced that the National Cancer Institute awarded a 27-month, $2.3M contract to CTT to develop a new agent that will help treat metastatic prostate cancer. Prostate cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and second leading cause of cancer death in men. The cancer is radiosensitive but no radiotherapy to date specifically targets this cancer. CTT is developing molecules that bind Prostate-Specific Membrane Antigen (PSMA) for the specific delivery of diagnostic and therapeutic agents. PSMA is an excellent biomarker as its expression is minimal to negative on normal tissues, but is over-expressed on prostate cancer and expression increases as the cancer metastasizes and becomes castrate-resistant. CTT’s unique phosphoramidate-based agents, discovered by Cliff Berkman, M.d., professor of chemistry, Washington State University, bind irreversibly to PSMA. Unlike other agents targeting PSMA, this distinctive mode of binding enhances uptake and internalization by tumor cells, leading to increased accumulation of the therapeutic payload within the tumor and improved efficacy, with minimal side effects to healthy tissues.
CTT is excited to work with Carolyn Anderson, M.D., professor of radiology and head of the Molecular Imaging Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, on this contract. Anderson’s group, working in state-of-the-art facilities, will radiolabel and evaluate CTT’s agents in preclinical prostate tumor models and will monitor the efficacy in conjunction with CTT’s diagnostic imaging agent.
This contract optimizes the lead agent, CTT1401, to specifically deliver a therapeutic dose of the radionuclide, 177Lu, to prostate tumors and will advance this compound to an Investigational New Drug application that would support a clinical trial in metastatic prostate cancer. The radiotherapeutic agent will be used in conjunction with CTT’s companion diagnostic Positron Emission Tomography imaging agent, CTT1057 (set to commence clinical trials in prostate cancer patients in early 2016).
“Although new treatments have emerged for metastatic prostate cancer, overall survival rates remain poor. A specific means of treating this disease that minimizes side effects and results in a meaningful increase in quality of life and life expectancy is needed, and we believe CTT’s new radiotherapy agent will accomplish this goal,” stated Beatrice Langton-Webster, M.d., CTT’s chief executive officer and principal investigator on the contract.
For more information: www.cancertargetedtechnology.com