Aptorum Group Limited (NASDAQ:APM) (“Aptorum Group”), a biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel therapeutics to address global unmet medical needs, announces positive data and development in relation to its repurposed drug candidate, SACT-1, for the treatment of neuroblastoma, a rare type of childhood cancer that develops in infants and young children. Subject to completion of current validation studies, Aptorum Group plans to leverage the 505(b)(2) pathway and submit an IND submission with the FDA for SACT-1 in H2 2020.1
SACT-1 is the first repurposed drug candidate to be developed under the Smart-ACTTM drug discovery platform, which employs a systematic approach to identify, repurpose and develop existing approved drugs against a currently identified universe of 7000+ (and increasing) orphan diseases.2
Through this platform, Aptorum Group intends to accelerate and fast track repurposed drug candidates, which usually have well established human safety and toxicity profiles and data, through the development and clinical phases in order to address the rapidly growing market of orphan diseases. Aptorum Group aims to screen a number of orphan disease areas including, but not limited to, oncology, autoimmune, metabolic and genetic diseases.
Through the Smart-ACTTM platform, Aptorum has successfully identified potential efficacy for and develops SACT-1 for the treatment of neuroblastoma, being an entirely new therapeutic area from its approved indication. In our recent studies, SACT-1 has been shown to be effective against numerous neuroblastoma cell lines, of which 2 are MYCN-amplified cells, which represent the high-risk neuroblastoma patient group. In addition, by using a combination index as a quantitative measure of the extent of drug interaction, Aptorum Group has seen a high and robust synergism between SACT-1 and traditional chemotherapy in vitro, indicating a potential efficacy enhancement/dose reduction of the chemotherapy. In addition, in our recent study, the maximum tolerable dose of SACT-1 in a rodent model was determined to be higher than 400mg/kg. Compared with the MTD of standard chemotherapy such as paclitaxel (20-30mg/kg)3 and cisplatin (6mg/kg) 4, the safety profile of SACT-1 appears to be very impressive.
The reformulation of SACT-1 is a pediatric formulation to better address the needs of neuroblastoma patients who are exclusively children younger than 5. Based on our internal observations of pre-existing information from approved products,5 SACT-1 also exhibits a well-established safety profile: at 150mg/day, the death rate was 0% in prior clinical studies) with no dosage related adverse events.