News & Information | START In The News

September 22nd, 2010
San Antonio
By: Adolfo Pesquera

San Antonio cancer center selected for new study on human subjects

ProNaAi Therapeutics Inc., a Kalamazoo, Mich. company, announced Tuesday its first  study of a new drug for patients with advanced solid tumors for which no standard therapy exists.

The trial will be conducted at South Texas Accelerated Research Therapeutics in San Antonio.

"Our team at START is an enthusiastic collaborator with ProNAi as they develop this novel class of oligonucleotides for the treatment of cancer," said START clinical director Dr. Anthony W. Tolcher. "PNT2258 represents a unique approach to potentially silence gene expression and we are very pleased to be part ot its first-in-human testing."

Patients will receive PNT2258 as an intravenous infusion once daily for five consecutive days of every 21-day cycle. The trial's primary objective is to assess safety and tolerability. The study will also explore biomarkers with the goal of identifying doses for subsequent studies in cancer patients.

ProNAi's approach capitalizes on a proprietary and differentiated oligonucleotide platform designed to target nuclear DNA. This is the company's first drug candidate - a 24 single-stranded oligonucleotide - designed to modulate the Bcl-2 oncogene. It is encapsulated in a proprietary delivery technology called SMARTICLES. This prolongs circulation times and protects the oligonucleotide from premature degradation.

"We are excited to have developed one of  the few systemic oligonucleotide therapies that have entered into this phase of human trials," said Donald R. Parfet, chairman of the board for ProNAi and a managing partner at Apjohn Ventures.