Ablaze to develop first-class therapy for liver cancer in China
Ablaze Pharmaceuticals, a biotechnology company focused on developing targeted radiotherapy (TRT) to benefit cancer patients in China, is developing plans for a new class one peptide drug candidate against GPC3.
Patented GPC3 targeting peptide is under license from RayzeBio. Once the product candidate is licensed by Ablaze from RayzeBio, Ablaze will be responsible for the clinical development and commercialization of the product in the Greater China region.
GPC3 drug candidates have demonstrated potent and selective GPC3 binding, rapid cellular internalization, and sustained tumor-specific uptake and anti-tumor efficacy in preclinical models.
Ablaze Pharmaceuticals pointed to the GPC3 biomarker
“GPC3 is a clinically relevant biomarker for diagnostic imaging and targeted therapy, because its expression is specific for liver cancer and absent in other normal and pathological liver tissues,” said Zhi Yang, a professor of Nuclear Medicine at the Beijing Cancer Hospital, and founding president of the Radiopharmaceutical Society of China Nuclear Society.
“Our research group has worked closely with Ablaze on an investigator-initiated trial of a radiopharmaceutical drug candidate targeted at PSMA. I am very excited to study this novel candidate targeted at GPC3 by Ablaze, and if successful, it can create a new paradigm for the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer patients in China.”
Liver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death and the sixth most diagnosed cancer globally. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer, accounting for up to 85% of cases, and represents a significant unmet medical need because current treatment options have limited efficacy with a narrow therapeutic index. About half of new cases and deaths globally are expected to occur in China, accounting for more than 410,000 new cases and 390,000 deaths in 2020.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with RayzeBio and the nomination of this first-class product candidate against GPC3,” said Alex Qiao, President and CEO of Ablaze Pharmaceuticals.
“Hepatic cancer therapy is a significant unmet medical need in China, and the available treatment options are limited and ineffective. Innovative drugs specifically designed to treat liver cancer can greatly improve treatment outcomes and bring great clinical benefits to patients.”
Another area under investigation and showing promise as a treatment for liver cancer is RNA therapy. Also, Biocartis recently started the commercialization of liver cancer testing in Europe.