NanoPharmaceuticals LLC is an emerging, clinical stage pharmaceutical company devoted to the discovery and commercialization of new, molecularly-targeted drugs for diseases with major unmet needs.
Over the past decade, the company’s researchers have defined the previously unrecognized anticancer attributes of tetraiodothyroacetic acid (tetrac), a naturally occurring derivative of L-thyroxine (T4). Tetrac was thought to have little biological activity at the classic nuclear receptors for biologically active triiodothyronine (T3). NanoPharmaceuticals’ scientists discovered that tetrac has anticancer activity on the cell membrane at a receptor they designated thyrointegrin αvβ3. While this receptor exists on all cells, it is over-expressed in the active form on cancer cells and rapidly dividing endothelial cells, but is quiescent on nonmalignant, non-dividing cells. From this vantage point on tumor cells, tetrac and chemically-modified tetrac regulate multiple signal transduction systems that, inside the cell, regulate the cell cycle (cell division), cancer cell defense mechanisms against chemotherapy, and tumor-relevant blood vessel formation (angiogenesis). The signaling systems that tetrac-based agents regulate act to control the expression of large numbers of cancer cell genes, but spare normal cells.
Because of these actions, our lead compound has proven to be highly effective in preclinical models against all human cancers studied. These include glioblastoma (GBM), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), neuroblastoma, and cancers of the breast, prostate, pancreas, kidney, lung and bladder. Melanoma and thyroid cancers are also susceptible to tetrac action. Tumors established in animal models from human cell lines and from primary cancer cell culture are equally responsive to the tetrac agents. Results included 90% reduction in tumor size because of programmed cell death (apoptosis) and disappearance of blood vessels without hemorrhage. Adverse effects were not encountered in treated animal models. This was the case even when animals were tested at doses 100-times the proposed dose for first-in-human use. The lack of side effects reflects the fact that our active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) is not cytotoxic, occurs naturally in human subjects, does not enter the nucleus of the cell, and reacts only with the active αvβ3 integrins on the cancer cells and rapidly dividing blood vessel cells. This lead compound is now being tested in a Phase I clinical trial for patients with glioblastoma. Management is confident that this trial will demonstrate the safety of the agent and its potential in managing a very difficult-to-treat cancer.
Based on preclinical studies, the Company’s other drug candidates also have the capacity to disrupt abnormal blood vessel production in certain non-cancer disease states (Pathological Angiogenesis-Associated Disorders). These states include skin disorders and eye diseases.