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  • 3 August 2017
    Genkyotex’s GKT831 Shown to Delay Tumor Growth in Multiple Preclinical Models by Targeting Cancer Associated fibroblasts

    Genkyotex (Euronext Paris & Brussels: FR00011790542 – GKTX), a biopharmaceutical company and the leader in NOX therapies, announced today that data in multiple preclinical models showed that GKT831, the Company’s NOX1 and NOX4 inhibitor, efficiently targeted cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and delayed tumor growth. The results from this study were published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute (https://doi.org/10.1093/jnci/djx121).

    Professor Gareth Thomas at the University of Southampton, United Kingdom (UK), senior author of the study, was also awarded a Small Molecule Drug Discovery grant by Cancer Research UK (CRUCK) to further evaluate the optimal clinical development strategy for GKT831 in oncology. CRUCK is a leading cancer research and awareness charity based in the UK. The objective of the funded program is to inform the design of a potential clinical trial of GKT831 in combination with current chemo- and immunotherapeutics.

    The tumor stroma is composed of extracellular matrix produced by CAFs and also includes immune cells and blood vessels. The presence of CAFs is associated with poor survival in many cancer types and are thought to have a number of different roles in cancer development, including promoting metastasis, resistance to chemotherapy and shielding tumors from the immune system. Accordingly, CAFs are a promising therapeutic target. In the published study, Professor Thomas and his colleagues demonstrated that an abundance of CAFs was linked to patient survival, and identified NOX4 as a critical regulator of CAF accumulation in many common cancer types. GKT831 prevented CAF formation in tumors, slowed tumor growth and reversed the CAF phenotype in cells grown from patients’ tumors.

    “Based on our results, we believe that GKT831 has the potential to be an effective adjunctive cancer treatment,” said Professor Thomas. “We are excited to initiate a translational research program to further evaluate GKT831 in oncology. We are now focused on assessing the impact of GKT831 on improving the response of certain common cancers to immunotherapy and chemotherapy. We are grateful to CRUK for their continued support of our work.”

    “We are very impressed by these results which suggest that NOX4 inhibition with GKT831 can effectively target the tumor stroma,” said Philippe Wiesel, M.D., Executive Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of Genkyotex. “Importantly, this may have broad applicability across many common cancer types.” 

    Genkyotex recently announced the initiation of patient enrollment into a Phase 2 study of GKT831 in primary biliary cholangitis, a progressive fibrotic liver disease. Dosing of the first patient is expected shortly with interim top-line results anticipated in the first half of 2018, and full results expected in the second half of 2018.