Novel UCSF investigator led Phase 2 clinical study to address role of epigenetic therapy in mitigating resistance to immune-oncology drugs
CALGARY, Alberta, March 15, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zenith Epigenetics Ltd. (“Zenith” or the “Company”) announced today the dosing of first patient with a triple combination of ZEN-3694 + Merck’s immune check point inhibitor, KEYTRUDA, + Pfizer’s androgen receptor signaling inhibitor (ARSI), XTANDI, in a University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) investigator led metastatic castration resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) Phase 2 clinical trial. ZEN-3694, the Company’s lead therapeutic compound, is being developed for epigenetic combination therapies in multiple oncology indications.
This clinical trial will evaluate the aforementioned triple combination therapy in mCRPC patients that have become resistant to a 1st line ARSI therapy. These patients have a very poor prognosis and have a significant need for non-chemotherapies. This study is being supported in part by a research grant from the Investigator-Initiated Studies Program of Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., a subsidiary of Merck & Co., Inc.
“ZEN-3694 has been shown to mitigate resistance to immune-checkpoint and ARSI therapies in pre-clinical models. Significantly, this combination will simultaneously target multiple pathways to suppress tumor growth. Also, epigenetic and immune-checkpoint based therapies have a potential to significantly increase the duration of response,” said Donald McCaffrey, President and CEO of Zenith. “Our therapy has proven to be safe and effective in treating multiple solid tumors and is combinable with multiple targeted agents. This is the first immune-oncology combination with ZEN-3694 and we will be announcing other immune-checkpoint based combination therapy clinical trials in other tumor types in the near future.”
Zenith Capital Corp. is a biotechnology investment company originally spun out of Resverlogix Corp. (TSX: RVX) in 2013. Zenith Epigenetics Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Zenith Capital Corp., is a clinical stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of novel therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other disorders with significant unmet medical need. Zenith Epigenetics is developing various novel combinations of BET inhibitors with other targeted agents. The lead compound, ZEN-3694, is in clinical development for:
- Metastatic Castration Resistant Prostate Cancer (“mCRPC”) in combination with androgen receptor inhibitor, XTANDI
- Triple Negative Breast Cancer in combination with the PARP inhibitor TALZENNA with Pfizer as a collaborator
- Androgen receptor independent mCRPC in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitor KEYTRUDA and XTANDI
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This news release may contain certain forward-looking information as defined under applicable Canadian securities legislation, that are not based on historical fact, including without limitation statements containing the words "believes", "anticipates", "plans", "intends", "will", "should", "expects", "continue", "estimate", "forecasts" and other similar expressions. In particular, this news release includes forward looking information relating to the Company’s development of ZEN-3694 and its ability to successfully combine with other targeted agents used in precision oncology and announcing other immune-checkpoint based combination therapy clinical trials in other tumor types in the future. Our actual results, events or developments could be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. We can give no assurance that any of the events or expectations will occur or be realized. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to numerous assumptions and risk factors including those discussed in our most recent MD&A which are incorporated herein by reference and are available through SEDAR at www.sedar.com. The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are expressly qualified by this cautionary statement and are made as of the date hereof. Zenith disclaims any intention and has no obligation or responsibility, except as required by law, to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.