The Race Oncology Ltd (ASX: RAC) share price is sliding today, despite the announcement of a new preclinical study by the specialty pharmaceutical company. At the time of writing, shares are down 0.5% to $3.98.
Race Oncology share price unfazed by Bisantrene study
Race Oncology focuses on the development of cancer-targeting drugs in an effort towards better outcomes. The company’s flagship drug is Bisantrene, a small molecule inhibitor of the fat mass and obesity-associated (FTO) protein. A link between FTO and a range of cancers has led Race to investigate Bisantrene further.
According to the release, Race has now entered into an agreement with The University of Newcastle to explore the use of Bisantrene as a novel FTO-directed treatment for melanoma. The preclinical research program is designed to identify drug combinations that improve existing melanoma treatment.
Renowned melanoma researchers Professor Xu Dong Zhang and Associate Professor Lei Jin will run the project. Another focus of the study will be improving drugs for treatment-resistant cancer patients.
The results of this newly announced program will support phase 2 human trials. These studies of Bisantrene in humans are scheduled for commencement in Australia in early 2022. Meanwhile, The University of Newcastle will commence its study immediately with findings expected during the next 12 months.
Chief scientific officer commentary
Race’s chief scientific officer Dr Danial Tillet commented on the study:
This is an exciting development for Race and we are looking forward to collaborating with Prof Zhang and Jin on this transformational project. Recent scientific developments have identified Bisantrene as a potent targeted agent of FTO which offers the possibility of novel treatment options for patients with drug resistant melanomas that can rapidly be translated into the clinic.
Professor Xu Dong Zhang brings 15 years of experience searching for a cure for metastatic melanoma to the research team. Additionally, Professor Lei Jin provides immense knowledge on overcoming resistance mechanisms of melanoma cells to chemotherapy.
Race has been busy
Impressively, today’s announcement is mere weeks after the company reported preclinical breast cancer results. Race found that Bisantrene could kill some breast cancer cells resistant to other existing treatments. Even more significant, when used in conjunction with existing treatments it exemplified near-identical additive benefits.
The company continues to expand upon studies for the types of cancer that Bisantrene may be able to treat.
At the time of writing, accounting for the current Race Oncology share price, the comany now has a market capitalisation of $541 million.