Ablaze Pharmaceuticals Plans Development of Innovative GPC3 Targeted Radiopharmaceutical Therapy for Liver Cancer in Greater China
Ablaze Pharmaceuticals, a biotech company that is focused on developing Targeted Radiotherapy (TRT) to benefit cancer patients in China, today announced the development plans of a first-in-class novel peptide drug candidate against GPC3. The proprietary GPC3 targeting peptide is being licensed from RayzeBio pursuant to an existing license agreement. 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. The strategic collaboration between Ablaze and RayzeBio leverages RayzeBio’s strength in TRT discovery and Ablaze’s expertise in therapeutic product clinical development and radiopharmaceutical infrastructure in China.
The 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.
“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 Dr. Zhi Yang, a professor of Nuclear Medicine at Beijing Cancer Hospital, and the Founding President of Radiopharmaceutical Society of Chinese Nuclear Society. “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.”
Liver 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 occur in China, accounting for more than 410,000 new cases and 390,000 death cases in 2020.
“We are very excited about this collaboration with RayzeBio and its nomination of this first-in-class product candidate against GPC3” said Dr. Alex Qiao, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ablaze Pharmaceuticals. “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.”
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