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SynDevRx Assembles Prostate Cancer Medical Advisory Board to Oversee Drug Candidate That Targets Link Between Obesity and Prostate Cancer

The Board will provide insight and experience during the development of SDX-7320 across multiple lines of treatment for androgen sensitive and castration resistant prostate cancer.


SynDevRx, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company specializing in metabo-oncology, has announced the formation of its Prostate Cancer Medical Advisory Board (PCMAB), comprised of key opinion leaders and industry experts in clinical oncology research and prostate cancer patient care. The board’s overarching goal is to inform the development of SynDevRx’s lead drug candidate, SDX-7320, to target the link between metabolic dysfunction and prostate cancer treatment outcomes.

Metabo-oncology is the emerging area of research and treatment dedicated to addressing systemic metabolic dysfunction and its impacts on tumor formation, disease progression and patient quality of life. Little attention has been paid to addressing the fundamental role that dysregulated glucose homeostasis and its sequelae (insulin resistance) play in tumor progression and aggressiveness. It is well understood that tumors frequently hijack the mechanisms of glucose and fat metabolism and synthesis to feed their insatiable growth; however, there have been no novel drug development programs dedicated to addressing this basic treatment avenue. SynDevRx believes that its lead drug candidate, SDX-7320 is the first clinical stage molecule targeting systemic metabolic dysfunction and its impacts on cancer progression. Many common cancers are sensitive to systemic metabolic dysfunction, including breast and prostate cancers.

The Prostate Cancer Medical Advisory Board is comprised of renowned clinicians and researchers in the field of prostate cancer research and treatment. It will work with SynDevRx’s leadership team to provide medical and scientific guidance for clinical studies administering SDX-7320 to prostate cancer patients with baseline or treatment-induced metabolic dysfunction in combination with current standard of care treatments (androgen deprivation therapy). The PCMAB will help to identify the sub-population(s) of prostate cancer patients most likely to benefit from SDX-7320, establish the clinical endpoints and clinical study design, and provide ongoing support during the conduct of the studies.

James Shanahan, co-Founder and Chief Business Officer at SynDevRx noted, "This newly-formed PCMAB will help us pinpoint exactly where SDX-7320 could have the greatest and most immediate impact on prostate cancer patients’ outcomes and quality of life. It is also further recognition of the need for therapeutic interventions to alleviate the negative pressures that systemic and treatment-induced metabolic dysfunction places on cancer patients."

Dr. Bruce Zetter, PhD, an expert in prostate cancer research, will serve as the chair of the PCMAB.

Bruce R. Zetter, PhD, is the Charles Nowiszewski Professor of Cancer Biology in the Department of Surgery at Children’s Hospital, Boston, Harvard Medical School. His research focuses on understanding how prostate cancer cells disseminate and gain metastatic potential. Joining Dr. Zetter on the PCMAB are:

  • Dr. Philip Kantoff, MD, Chairman of the Department of Medicine at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York, where he studies the mechanisms of treatment resistance in prostate cancer patients. He also is a member of the Prostate Cancer Foundation Board.
  • Dr. David Nanus, MD, Mark W. Pasmantier Professor of Hematology and Oncology in Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, where he conducts clinical and basic research focused on molecular abnormalities related to the development and treatment of genitourinary cancers.
  • Dr. Ganesh Palapattu, MD, George F. and Sandy G. Valassis Professor and Chair of Urology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, where he uses metabolic platforms to study the biological basis of disparities related to prostate cancer.
  • Dr. Raoul Concepcion, MD, Director of The Comprehensive Prostate Center in Nashville, Tennessee, as well as the Chief Urologic Officer for Integra Connect in West Palm Beach, Florida, and luminary medical educator.


Dr. Kantoff remarked, "Standard androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) for prostate cancer, such as a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist (e.g., leuprolide acetate), and the newer androgen receptor signaling agents like abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide, etc., can induce metabolic complications, such as weight gain and insulin resistance, which can negatively impact patient outcomes. Addressing these metabolic complications could prolong treatment, improve patient outcomes and provide a better quality of life for early-stage and late-stage prostate cancer patients. I’m excited to work with a team that is developing a potential solution for this well known yet unaddressed problem.”

“The SynDevRx Prostate Cancer Medical Advisory Board is bringing together top clinical researchers to devise and help implement a clinical strategy to address this most basic and underserved need in prostate cancer patients,” stated Bradley Carver, CEO and President of SynDevRx. “Guidance from our Board on clinical development for SDX-7320 across multiple lines of treatment for androgen sensitive and castration resistant prostate cancers should help us to devise a treatment program to improve clinical outcomes for patients while simultaneously improving their quality of life.”

About SDX-7320:

SynDevRx believes that SDX-7320 is the first drug being developed specifically for cancer patients with metabolic complications, such as obesity, diabetes, high blood glucose or HbA1c, pre-diabetes or insulin resistance. For certain tumor types, metabolic hormones stimulate oncogenic pathways, making the cancer more aggressive and deadlier. SDX-7320 acts by binding irreversibly to its target enzyme MetAP2, triggering downstream improvements in the metabolic hormones insulin, leptin and adiponectin, and improvements in key lipids. SDX-7320 also inhibits the important angiogenic proteins bFGF and VEGF in cancer patients. In preclinical studies, SDX-7320 inhibits multiple cell cycle signaling pathways and reversed immune suppression within the tumor micro-environment of obese mice. SDX-7320 is being developed for use in combination with clinically indicated standard-of-care cancer therapies for breast and prostate cancers.

About SynDevRx, Inc.:

SynDevRx is a privately held clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company based in Cambridge, Massachusetts focused on the research and development of treatments that address the underserved needs of cancer patients with systemic metabolic dysfunction – i.e., metabo-oncology. Obesity, pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are known to worsen certain cancer patients’ prognosis, but oncologists have no specific tools to treat systemic or treatment-induced metabolic complications, except for diet and exercise. SynDevRx is initiating a series of proof-of-concept clinical studies of its drug candidate SDX-7320 to address this major, unmet medical need. Preclinical studies have shown that SDX-7320 reduces tumor growth and angiogenesis, helps to control aberrant metabolic hormone signaling, and reduces treatment resistance to certain standard cancer therapies in metabolically sensitive cancers. SDX-7320 is being developed for use in combination with standard of care therapies for solid tumors, including breast and prostate.

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Last Updated: 26-Jan-2021