Shasqi, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing oncology therapeutics with its proprietary Click Activated Protodrugs Against Cancer (CAPAC) platform says it has opened the phase 2 part of its phase 1/2a clinical study to further assess SQ3370 in anthracycline-naïve patients.
The phase 2 study follows the company’s presentation at the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Congress. The presentation evaluated the safety, tolerability, maximum tolerated dose, and recommended phase 2 dose for SQ3370 in patients with locally advanced and/or metastatic solid tumors.
“We are encouraged by the promising results from our phase 1 study and preclinical data which indicate that click chemistry in humans has the potential to revolutionize cancer care by expanding the therapeutic index of anti-cancer therapies such as doxorubicin,” said José M. Mejía Oneto, founder and CEO of Shasqi.
“We look forward to further exploring the safety and efficacy of our lead candidate SQ3370 at unprecedented dose levels in the phase 2 study.”
“Early data has shown that click chemistry allows for the release of doxorubicin at the tumor site to generate anti-tumor responses. Phase 1 results showing that SQ3370 is well-tolerated among a heavily pretreated patient population further validate this clinical approach and the importance of investigating SQ3370 as a potential treatment option in patients with anthracycline-sensitive- and other solid tumors,” said Sant P. Chawla, principal investigator, and head, Sarcoma Oncology Center in Santa Monica, California.
Shasqi is excited to open the Phase 2 study of SQ3370 in anthracycline-naïve patients with advanced soft tissue sarcomas, relapsed or recurrent squamous-cell head and neck cancer, platinum refractory ovarian cancer recurrent and/or metastatic uterine carcinoma, or uterine sarcoma.
About Shasqi and the CAPAC Platform
Shasqi is a privately held, clinical-stage biotechnology company looking to help patients beat cancer with tumor-localized therapies by pioneering the use of click chemistry in humans. Click chemistry is a term that describes chemical reactions in which 2 compounds rapidly react with each other; ignoring everything else around them.
Shasqi’s proprietary CAPAC platform enables precise oncology therapeutics to reach unprecedented doses at the tumor site with a strong safety profile in two steps. First, the CAPAC platform localizes a click chemistry reagent (activator) to the tumor. Then protodrugs (attenuated drugs activated by click chemistry) are infused systemically. When the protodrug reaches the activator, the payload is released at the tumor site.
The lead asset, SQ3370, has established click chemistry in humans and uses a chemotherapeutic, doxorubicin, as the payload. Shasqi’s CAPAC Platform, when applied to a broad range of existing and experimental cancer drugs, is designed to reach unprecedented doses and unlock novel beneficial biological effects.