CytRx Corporation (NASDAQ: CYTR) is a biopharma R&D company that specializes in oncology therapeutics. The pipeline has 3 drug candidates for various cancers, which have caught my attention. I think that CYTR is an interesting company and their products have the potential to be widely used for treatment of cancers. What is more impressive is that the company's 3 candidates have different mechanisms of actions and are being studied for a wide range of cancers unlike a lot of small cap companies that put all their eggs in one basket. It will still be a few years before the candidates will hit the market. Here's a brief overview:
- Initiation of Phase 2b clinical trials of its drug candidate bafetinib in patients with high-risk B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia and advanced prostate cancer, and a pharmacokinetic clinical trial in patients with brain cancer.
- Phase 2 trials with its oncology candidate INNO-206 for soft tissue sarcomas and pancreatic cancer.
- Tamibarotene for non-small-cell lung cancer (Phase 2b), and acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL).
- Seeking a potential partnership of molecular chaperone technology.
- 17% equity interest in RXi Pharmaceuticals Corporation, or RXi (NASDAQ: RXII). There has been speculation for a long time about RXII being acquired by a big pharma. Nothing has come to fruition.
I would like to just briefly explain the specifics of INNO-206 and its potential as it is similar to a project that I have worked on and many researchers around the world have studied.
There are several issues that INNO-206 must address for wide acceptance by oncologists and pharmacists:
- Doxorubicin has a cumulative lifetime dose maximum. This means a person can only receive a certain amount of it throughout their life. It is unknown if this also applies to Doxil.
- This relates to the previous issue. Doxorubicin is known to be cardiotoxic and that is why it has a limit. CYTR must demonstrate that there is no toxicity issues with the heart if they want a blockbuster oncology drug.
- This relates to the previous two posts. Patients with heart problems such as heart failure are exempt from taking doxorubicin. By demonstrating that INNO-206 has no toxic effects on the heart, a greater number of patients can qualify for therapy.
- Doxil has a side effect known as Hand-Foot Syndrome. This is another issue that INNO-206 must overcome.
- Doxorubicin can cause serious damage to the skin and blood vessels when being given to the patients. By avoiding this, INNO-206 will gain favor with patients.
- The technology used in INNO-206 needs to demonstrate higher accumulation in the tumors.
- CYTR must also evaluate if cancer develops resistance to INNO-206. Resistance is a big drawback to effective doxorubicin treatment.
- Doxorubicin is used for many types of cancer. Can INNO-206 be applied to these cancers? Is CYTR willing to test 5+ types of cancer? Probably not off the back.