Discover what we are currently developing
Adva-27a Anticancer Compound
In the area of oncology, our proprietary drug development activities have been focused on the development of a small molecule called Adva-27a for the treatment of aggressive forms of cancer. A Topoisomerase II inhibitor, Adva-27a has been shown to be effective at destroying Multidrug Resistant Cancer cells including Pancreatic Cancer cells, Breast Cancer cells, Small-Cell Lung Cancer cells and Uterine Sarcoma cells (Published in ANTICANCER RESEARCH, Volume 32, Pages 4423-4432, October 2012). We are the direct owner of all issued patents pertaining to Adva-27a including U.S. Patents Number 8,236,935 and 10,272,065.
Adva-27a is a GEM-difluorinated C-glycoside derivative of Podophyllotoxin. Another derivative of Podophyllotoxin called Etoposide is currently on the market and is used to treat various types of cancer including leukemia, lymphoma, testicular cancer, lung cancer, brain cancer, prostate cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, ovarian cancer, liver cancer and several other forms of cancer. Etoposide is one of the most widely used anticancer drugs. Adva-27a and Etoposide are similar in that they both attack the same target in cancer cells, namely the DNA unwinding enzyme, Topoisomerase II. Unlike Etoposide however, Adva-27a is able to penetrate and destroy Multidrug Resistant Cancer cells.
Adva-27a has been shown to have distinct and more desirable biological and pharmacological properties compared to Etoposide. In side-by-side studies using Multidrug Resistant Breast Cancer cells and Etoposide as a reference, Adva-27a showed markedly greater cell killing activity.
In February 2023, we signed a research agreement with the Jewish General Hospital (“JGH”), to complete the IND-enabling studies. The JGH has also agreed to negotiate with us the terms for Phase I Clinical Trials. Adva-27a’s initial indication will be pancreatic cancer for which there are currently little or no treatment options available. All aspects of the clinical trials in Canada will employ FDA standards at all levels.
K.1.1 Anticancer mRNA
In June 2021, we initiated a new research project in which we set out to determine if certain mRNA molecules can be used as anticancer agents. The data collected to date have shown that a selected group of mRNA molecules are capable of destroying cancer cells in vitro including multidrug resistant breast cancer cells (MCF-7/MDR), ovarian adenocarcinoma cells (OVCAR-3), and pancreatic cancer cells (SUIT-2). Studies using non-transformed (normal) human cells (HMEC cells) showed that these mRNA molecules had little cytotoxic effects. These new mRNA molecules, bearing the laboratory name K1.1, are readily adaptable for delivery into patients using the mRNA vaccine technology.
In April 2022, we filed a provisional patent application in the United States covering the subject mRNA molecules.
We recently concluded an agreement with a specialized partner for the purposes of formulating our K1.1 mRNA molecules into lipid nanoparticles, ready for use to conduct studies in xenograft mice. We anticipate commencing such studies within approximately the next twelve months.
SBFM-PL4 COVID-19 Treatment
The initial genome expression products of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the causative agent of COVID-19, are two large polyproteins, referred to as pp1a and pp1ab. These two polyproteins are cleaved at 15 specific sites by two virus encoded proteases (Mpro and PLpro) to generate 16 different non-structural proteins essential for viral replication. Mpro and PLpro represent attractive anti-viral drug development targets as they play a central role in the early stages of viral replication. PLpro is of particular interest as a therapeutic target in that, in addition to processing viral proteins, it is also responsible for suppression of the human immune system making the virus more life-threatening. Our COVID-19 research effort has been focused on developing an inhibitor of PLpro, the viral enzyme that mediates suppression of the human immune system.
On May 22, 2020, we filed a patent application in the United States for a new treatment for Coronavirus infections. Our patent application covers composition subject matter pertaining to small molecules for inhibition of the Coronavirus main protease (Mpro) and papain-like protease (PLpro).
In February 2022, we expanded our PLpro inhibitors research effort by entering into a research agreement with the University of Arizona for the purposes of conducting research focused on determining the in vivo safety, pharmacokinetics, and dose selection properties of three University of Arizona owned PLpro inhibitors, to be followed by efficacy testing in mice infected with SARS-CoV-2 (the “Research Project”). Under the agreement, the University of Arizona granted the Company a first option to negotiate a commercial, royalty-bearing license for all intellectual property developed by University of Arizona personnel under the Research Project.
In addition, the Company and the University of Arizona entered into an Option Agreement whereby the Company was granted a first option to negotiate a royalty-bearing commercial license for the underlying technology of the Research Project. Encouraged by the results obtained to date, we submitted a Notice of Option Exercise to the University of Arizona on September 13, 2022.