CellCentric Raises $26M to Advance Prostate Cancer Therapy Candidate CCS1477

CellCentric Raises $26M to Advance Prostate Cancer Therapy Candidate CCS1477

Biotechnology company CellCentric recently raised $26 million in private funding to advance clinical testing of its first-in-class therapy candidate CCS1477 as a treatment for prostate cancer.

CCS1477 addresses the growing population of patients whose tumors have inherent or acquired resistance to second-generation androgen deprivation therapies through a different approach than current therapies that tackle resistance.

The therapy candidate targets conserved domains in the p300 and CBP proteins, which are associated with cancer progression. When the two twin proteins are inhibited, expression of the main drivers of late-stage prostate cancer – including the androgen receptor (AR), related splice variants (AR-SV), and c-Myc – is significantly reduced.

Particularly, reducing AR-SV is thought to mitigate the resistance that has been inherited or acquired to existing second-generation anti-androgen treatments like Zytiga (abiraterone), Xtandi (enzalutamide), and Erleada (apalutamide).

The new p300/CBP inhibitor reprograms cancer cell growth in a way that distinguishes its action from other developmental agents.

CCS1477 is now being developed as a treatment for late-stage castration-resistant prostate cancer, but eventually could be indicated for other cancer types.

“There is a large and growing population of late-stage prostate cancer patients who have inherent or acquired resistance to current second-line anti-androgen therapies. CCS1477 has shown promise in addressing this. It is positioned after or in combination with second generation anti-androgen drugs such as abiraterone, enzalutamide and apalutamide,” Will West, chairman and chief executive officer of CellCentric, said in a press release.

The new financing will fund development of the treatment candidate in prostate cancer up to Phase 2b clinical testing.

CCS1477 has a longer-lasting effect on tumor inhibition after stopping treatment than other therapies, according to data presented at the latest meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research.

The findings, shown in models of both prostate cancer and acute myeloid leukemia, will support the development of CCS1477 in a range of other cancers. CellCentric also will use the new funds to explore the therapy candidate’s tolerability and initial effectiveness in treating blood cancers. Tumors with p300 or CBP mutations, such as bladder and small cell lung cancer, also will be explored.

“Oncology product development is highly competitive. There are few genuine first-in-class new drug opportunities which have a large but specific patient population to treat. We are also encouraged by new data demonstrating that p300/CBP inhibition has significant potential for other areas beyond prostate cancer. Morningside is delighted to support the CellCentric team with their continued momentum,” added Jason Dinges, board director at CellCentric and representative of Morningside Venture Investments, one of CellCentric’s investors.

The company’s clinical program in prostate cancer is due to start in the summer of 2018 at the Royal Marsden Hospital in the United Kingdom. The program is then planned to expand nationally and later to the United States.