Captor Therapeutics names lead candidate in fight against hepatocellular carcinoma

August 10, 2022 - 3 minutes
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A Polish biopharma company focused on treating cancer and autoimmune diseases announced today (August 10) that it has chosen a lead candidate for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma.

The molecular glue candidate, CPT-6281 will be Captor Therapeutic’s CT-01 project which will initially focus on the clinical development of the asset as a targeted protein degradation (TPD) treatment.

The announcement of the candidate confirms it is on track to enter the clinical phase next year (2023).

Molecular glues

Disclosed earlier this year, the CT-01 series of molecular glues are compounds inducing degradation of eukaryotic peptide chain release factor GTP-binding subunit ERF3A (GSPT1), Sal-like protein 4 (SALL4) and another undisclosed neo-substrate with essential function in tumorigenesis.

Captor has previously reported very promising in vitro and in vivo preclinical data demonstrating the high anti-tumor activity at low doses of the two lead compounds in a mouse model of human liver cancer, when administered orally.

Michał Walczak, co-founder and chief scientific officer of Captor Therapeutics, said: “The nomination of our first drug candidate is another and very satisfying milestone in the company’s history, demonstrating the results of several years of systematic work on targeted protein degradation.

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“In the CT-01 project, we are entering the advanced stage of preclinical development of the drug candidate, i.e. work whose results will be included in the IND studies, and will open the way for us to start the first phase of clinical trials.” 

Extensive evaluations

Captor went through additional extensive in vitro and in vivo evaluations to help selecting CPT-6281 as the candidate most likely to provide significant therapeutic benefit, combined with minimal or no off-target degradation and a suitable back-up compound was also identified.

Following the selection of the lead drug candidate, Captor has initiated large scale synthesis with a reputable Contract Development and Manufacturing Organization. The CDMO will produce sufficient amounts of drug candidate to complete the preclinical studies required to support a clinical trial application filing with the regulators next year.

Tom Shepherd, CEO at Captor Therapeutics, said: “Captor is progressing according to plan and will deliver on its promises to enter the clinical phase in 2023. The team has done a tremendous job in delivering a highly potent, highly selective and highly differentiated lead drug candidate, targeting crucial proteins involved in solid cancers with high unmet medical need. I believe the clinical data that will be generated in the coming years could bring new hope to the many patients affected with hepatocellular carcinoma.

“Beyond the progress made with our molecular glue CT-01, Captor’s team is also working tirelessly to develop other drug candidates, be they glue, bi-functional degraders, or new ligases. These candidates aim to tackle solid and liquid tumors as well as autoimmune diseases and are positioning Captor as a true innovator in the Targeted Protein Degradation space.” 

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