Novel VDA disrupts established tumor vasculature and causes tumor necrosis
LEXINGTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to treat severe medical conditions, today announced that the Department of Defense (DoD) has recommended STA-9584, a novel vascular disrupting agent (VDA) currently in pre-clinical development at Synta, be funded for study in advanced prostate cancer. Under the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) of the Office of the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP), STA-9584 is approved for funding of approximately $1 million subject to final negotiations.
“This grant from the DoD is a validation of STA-9584 and is another example of the capabilities of our discovery team and technology platform to produce exciting and potent new small molecule drug candidates,” said Safi Bahcall, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer, Synta Pharmaceuticals. “This funding will support the development of STA-9584 to clinical development, a major step forward for the VDA program at Synta. The drug candidate’s unique characteristics suggest that STA-9584 has the potential to provide a new therapeutic option for treating advanced prostate cancer.”
“STA-9584 is among a class of compounds known as Vascular Disrupting Agents, or VDAs,” said Andrew Sonderfan, Ph.D., Vice-President, Drug Disposition and Preclinical Safety at Synta, and the DoD grant principal investigator. “In preclinical models, STA-9584 efficiently kills both cancer cells in tumors as well as the endothelial cells that form blood vessels in tumors, without affecting the vasculature of non-tumor tissues. The inhibition of angiogenesis and disruption of existing tumor vasculature can prevent transport of oxygen and essential nutrients needed by tumors, and lead to substantial tumor shrinkage, particularly in bulky tumors that rely heavily on blood vessels for survival”.
First generation angiogenesis inhibitors, such as Avastin®, work primarily by preventing the formation of new tumor vessels. In contrast, STA-9584 disrupts both new and established tumor vessels. STA-9584's more complete anti-vasculature mechanism, together with complementary direct cancer-cell killing, have potential to be important advantages relative to first generation angiogenesis inhibitors and other endothelial cell-targeted agents.
STA-9584 is a novel, injectable, small molecule compound that appears to disrupt the blood vessels that supply tumors with oxygen and essential nutrients. In animal models, STA-9584 has been shown to target both new and established tumor blood vessels, in contrast to the mechanism of action of angiogenesis inhibitors such as Avastin, which only prevent the formation of new tumor vasculature. STA-9584 has shown strong anti-tumor activity in a broad range of preclinical cancer models, including prostate, lung, breast, melanoma, and lymphoma. These models have shown that STA-9584 may kill tumor cells directly, in addition to disrupting established tumor blood vessels. This program is currently in preclinical development.
About Prostate Cancer
Prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, after skin cancer. The American Cancer Society estimates there will be approximately 217,730 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2010. About 32,050 men will die of this disease this year. One man in six will get prostate cancer during his lifetime, and one man in 36 will die of this disease.
About Synta Pharmaceuticals
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to extend and enhance the lives of patients with severe medical conditions, including cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases. Synta has a unique chemical compound library, an integrated discovery engine, and a diverse pipeline of clinical- and preclinical-stage drug candidates with distinct mechanisms of action and novel chemical structures. All Synta drug candidates were invented by Synta scientists using our compound library and discovery capabilities. For more information, please visit www.syntapharma.com.
Safe Harbor Statement
This media release may contain forward-looking statements about Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. Such forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "will", "would", "should", "expects", "anticipates", "intends", "plans", "believes", "may", "estimates", "predicts", "projects", or similar expressions intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements, including statements relating to the timing, developments and progress of our clinical and preclinical programs, reflect our current views with respect to future events and are based on assumptions and subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements, including those described in "Risk Factors" of our Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2009 as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Synta undertakes no obligation to publicly update forward-looking statements, whether because of new information, future events or otherwise, except as required by law.
Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.
Rob Kloppenburg, 781-541-7125
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