BryoLogyx Acquires Rights from Stanford University for Bryostatin and Analogues, for Development as Possible Treatment for Cancer And HIV
BryoLogyx, a privately held company focused on improving on survival rates for patients with cancer announced today it has acquired exclusive rights from Stanford University for synthetic bryostatin-1 and a wide range of bryostatin analogues. Clinical and preclinical research conducted to date indicates that these marine-sourced molecules have a very broad range of potential therapeutic applications, notably the enhancement of cancer immunotherapy. Potential applications also include a functional cure for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). The terms of exclusivity include these medical indications--as well as relevant synthetic processes--and applies worldwide. Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.
“Our collaboration with Stanford, and in particular with its renowned expert in the bryostatin field, Professor Paul Wender, Ph.D., and in collaboration with a group of oncology drug development experts, is expected to enable a relatively rapid rate of clinical development for this unusual molecule,” said Thomas M. Loarie, co-founder, President and CEO of BryoLogyx. “In addition to clinical development—and building on a portfolio of related patient studies by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)—BryoLogyx is working closely with Dr. Wender’s laboratory on novel analogues of bryostatin, called bryologs, which may be superior to bryostatin for study.”
Preclinical testing of bryostatin-1 and selected bryologs, which has been underway, is expected to expand in 2019.
Since the molecule was first identified in 1968, the NCI’s “hand collection” of 14 tons of the marine source organism Bugula neritina provided only 18 grams of bryostatin1 (0.00014% yield), according to a recent report in Science. Limited bryostatin-1 supply, and its extremely high production costs, Loarie said, have been limitations for researchers in the field. “We believe these barriers have been addressed with the synthetic process we have licensed.” This process may be able to provide a supply adequate for expansion of clinical evaluation; e.g., a single gram of bryostatin 1 can treat approximately 1000 cancer patients at anticipated dosage levels.
“Our Stanford agreement affords BryoLogyx a low-risk controlling position in the early stage of an unusual, highly promising technology that can play a major role in diseases that afflict millions worldwide,” Loarie noted. “Bryostatin-1 has been studied by the NCI and other institutions for more than 30 years, in over 40 clinical trials involving more than one thousand patients. This extensive safety dataset provides critical de-risking for its application in cancer to sensitize poorly recognized tumor cells allowing for their clearance. In preclinical studies of HIV, bryostatin-1 has been found to be a highly efficacious agent to activate the latently infected immune cells that comprise the HIV “reservoir;” it is this “reservoir” that frequently allows the virus to survive and replicate in many patients, despite conventional treatments.
BryoLogyx is developing a new class of drugs to enhance the response rates and treatment durability of cancer immunotherapies and anti-HIV agents. The company’s initial focus is on cancer, where it capitalizing on two recent scientific advances: the discovery that a complex natural product, bryostatin, stimulates tumor antigen production to amplify the immune response unleashed by cancer immunotherapy; and the invention of the first practical synthetic production method for bryostatin and analogs, enabling their availability for commercial development. BryoLogyx has exclusive rights from Stanford University to the method’s use in the areas of cancer and HIV. Bryostatin, currently in development for use with immuno-oncology agents, has an established safety profile based on clinical studies involving more than 1100 patients. Learn more at www.bryologyx.com
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