NEW YORK – Lantern Pharma and Georgetown University said this week that they are expanding an existing partnership and advancing research into the activity of LP-184 in solid tumors characterized by molecular markers, particularly prostate and pancreatic cancers.
Researchers from Lantern and Georgetown collaborated last year on early studies, which generated evidence that LP-184 was effective in certain solid tumors and provided hints that the drug may work especially well in cancers with specific biomarkers. Specifically, LP-184 demonstrated increased efficacy in killing prostate cancer cells that overexpress PTGR1, and in cell lines harboring genetic mutations that impair the cells' ability to repair DNA damage.
Based on these earlier insights, the partners will now evaluate the drug in a larger set of patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models in the hopes of pinpointing its mechanism of action. Researchers will also seek to validate the role of PTGR1 overexpression and DNA damage repair pathway mutations in the context of LP-184's anti-tumor activity.
The therapeutic candidate was also previously tested in 3D organoid cultures, using which researchers generated genomic, transcriptomic, and drug sensitivity data that they will use to develop a genomic signature. Such a signature may be further evaluated in clinical trials to predict which patients respond best to LP-184. The researchers will also use animal models and cell lines to garner additional information on the underlying genomic features of prostate cancers that the drug may be able to target.
"LP-184 could develop into a first-in-class compound for the treatment of certain prostate and pancreatic cancers and potentially other solid tumors," Lantern CEO Panna Sharma said in a statement. "Moreover, LP-184 seems to work specifically by damaging and blocking a pathway critical for cancer cell proliferation; it could potentially be a perfect drug for use in combination with existing therapies for these prostate and pancreatic cancers as well as other solid tumors where we can exploit this molecular feature."