Ablaze Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company focused on developing targeted radiotherapy (TRT) to benefit cancer patients in China, is developing plans for a first-in-class novel peptide drug candidate against GPC3. \n\n\n\nThe proprietary GPC3-targeting peptide is being licensed from RayzeBio. Upon in-license of product candidates by Ablaze from RayzeBio, Ablaze will be responsible for clinical development and commercialization of the product in the Greater China region. \n\n\n\nThe GPC3 drug candidate has demonstrated potent and selective GPC3 binding, rapid cellular internalization, and sustained tumor specific uptake and anti-tumor efficacy in preclinical models.\n\n\n\nAblaze Pharmaceuticals points to biomarker GPC3\n\n\n\n"GPC3 is a clinically relevant biomarker for diagnostic imaging and targeted therapeutics, as its expression is liver cancer specific and absent from normal and other pathological liver tissues," said Zhi Yang, a professor of Nuclear Medicine at Beijing Cancer Hospital, and the founding president of the Radiopharmaceutical Society of Chinese Nuclear Society. \n\n\n\n"Our research group has been collaborating with Ablaze on an investigator-initiated trial of a radiopharmaceutical drug candidate targeted on PSMA. I am very glad to learn this novel candidate targeted on GPC3 by Ablaze, and if successful, it can create a new paradigm for the diagnosis and treatment of liver cancer patients in China."\n\n\n\nLiver cancer\n\n\n\nLiver cancer is the third most common cause of cancer death and sixth most diagnosed cancer globally. Hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer, accounting for up to 85% of the cases, and represents a significant unmet medical need as current treatment options have limited efficacy with a narrow therapeutic index. Around half of new cases and deaths globally were estimated to be in China, accounting for more than 410,000 new cases and 390,000 deaths in 2020.\n\n\n\n"We are very excited about this collaboration with RayzeBio and its nomination of this first-in-class product candidate against GPC3," said Alex Qiao, president and chief executive officer of Ablaze Pharmaceuticals. \n\n\n\n"Liver cancer therapy is a significant unmet medical need in China, and existing treatment options are very limited and ineffective. An innovative drug specifically designed to treat liver cancer can greatly improve treatment outcome and bring huge clinical benefits to patients."\n\n\n\nAnother field being investigated and showing promise as a liver cancer treatment is RNA therapy. Also, Biocartis recently started the European commercialization of its liver cancer test.