Moleculin Biotech Spikes on Experimental Cancer Drug Discovery
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Moleculin Biotech Spikes on Experimental Cancer Drug Discovery

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By: Dylan Sikes – News

Thursday, February 15, 2018

In technology, the buzzword is "disruptor." In biotech, it's "breakthrough." Shares of Houston-based anti-cancer drug maker Moleculin Biotech (NASDAQ:MBRX) are amongst the top of Nasdaq issues in Thursday trading on news of what management believes is a "major breakthrough" in developing a new cancer treatment targeting stubborn tumors.
Working in collaboration with the pros at the University of Texas' MD Anderson Cancer Center, Moleculin is working on immuno-stimulating STAT3 inhibitors, a novel approach in immunotherapy hoped to be a game changer in oncology, not only in treatments, but in supporting a new mechanistic understanding of oncogenic transcriptional activity.
More precisely, the breakthrough is underscored by successfully obtaining pre-clinical evidence that Moleculin therapies can control ubiquitination to block the activation of STAT3, a key in tumor pathogenesis. The discovery was made as Moleculin was pushing the bounds of its portfolio while researching WP1006, its lead oral stat inhibitor, for brain tumors. The molecule in the new discovery has been dubbed WP1732. While it shares key mechanistic properties with WP1066, it demonstrates very different qualities with respect to organ distribution and solubility, meaning it may be best served through IV delivery.
Importantly, the company is of the opinion that WP1732 could be an ideal drug candidate for pancreatic cancer, a leading killer with negligible options for patients.
The latest discovery positions Moleculin with three promising anti-cancer agents, each of which has made developmental strides in the past few months. Annamycin is active against multi-drug resistant tumor cells with a safety profile showing it to be non-cardio toxic; WP1066 and WP1732 as immuno-stimulating STAT3 inhibitors; and WP1122, a metabolic inhibitor shown in lab studies to cut off the energy supply tumor cells need to survive and multiple.
Public for not even two years yet, Moleculin is aligning to advance WP1066 and Annamycin into clinical trials first as it showcases the breadth of it portfolio through lab research. Shareholders are loving the breakthough news today, sending shares soaring 57.7% to $2.87 shortly into the afternoon trading session after printing as high as $3.34 in morning action.

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