Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said its overseas subsidiary has discovered a molecule that can potentially be used in targeting even difficult-to-treat lung cancer and colorectal cancer.
The GBR 1372 molecule was discovered in the pharma company’s Swiss laboratory and that the company plans to file an application with the US Food and Drug Administration to approve the compound as a ‘investigational new drug’ or IND.
Unlike normal cancer drugs that try to control cancer by disabling epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR), the new compound kills cancer cells through redirecting T cells to EGFR expressing cancer cells.
EGFR is a well-established target for lung cancer and colorectal cancer, Glenmark said.
Current drugs prevent signaling through EGFR by blocking ligand binding or inhibiting its protein kinase activity but they cause considerable side effects and are not active against cancers with Ras mutations.
Mutations in Ras genes continuously switch on intracellular signaling networks and make the tumors independent of stimulation by growth factor receptors such as EGFR and drugs that target EGFR are not currently indicated for patients with Ras mutations.
However, said the company, its new compound does not suffer from this limitation.
The company’s scientists were able to demonstrate preclinically that the new compound GBR 1372 is indeed equally active against EGFR expressing cancer cell lines – independent of their RAS mutation status.
Glenn Saldanha, Chairman & MD, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said: “With the addition of GBR 1372, the quality of our biologics pipeline continues to improve. We continue to make strides as we transition to a global innovation led pharmaceutical organization.”
Dr. Fred Grossman, Chief Medical Officer, Glenmark Pharmaceuticals said he expected GBR 1372 to move into clinical development in the near future.