HOUSTON and BOSTON― The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and TransCode Therapeutics, Inc. today announced a strategic alliance to advance TransCode’s pipeline of RNA-targeted oncology therapeutic and diagnostic candidates.
Through the alliance, TransCode and MD Anderson scientists will collaborate on preclinical studies to further validate TransCode’s therapeutic and diagnostic candidates and to expand the reach of TransCode’s discovery engine. The results of these studies will inform future clinical trials with these agents, including trials to be led at MD Anderson.
“RNA-based therapeutics offer exciting possibilities to treat cancer. We can now examine how regulatory RNAs affect signaling, both spatially and temporally, at the single-cell level in tumor cells, immune cells and stem cells — all critical for tumor progression, relapse and immune evasion,” said principal investigator Sendurai Mani, Ph.D., professor of Translational Molecular Pathology at MD Anderson. “Our goals in collaborating with TransCode are to gain a deeper understanding of RNA-targeted therapies and to bring innovative new treatment options to our patients.”
The collaboration has the potential to inform multiple clinical programs in TransCode’s pipeline, starting with its lead therapeutic candidate, TTX-MC138, designed to treat multiple metastatic cancers. Future clinical trials will be designed and led by Vivek Subbiah, M.D., associate professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson.
“This strategic alliance offers the opportunity to further unlock the potential of our therapeutic pipeline by combining the promise of our image capable delivery platform and discovery engine with the unique talent and resources found at MD Anderson,” said Zdravka Medarova, Ph.D., co-founder and chief technology officer of TransCode.
Prior to a Phase I clinical trial, TTX-MC138 is scheduled to enter a first-in-human Phase 0 clinical trial designed to demonstrate delivery of the therapeutic candidate to metastatic lesions in patients with advanced solid tumors.
“We are acutely aware of the expectations that come with a therapeutic approach that has the potential to induce durable regressions of metastatic disease. We are committed to taking every opportunity to fulfill the promise of RNA in cancer,” said Michael Dudley, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransCode.
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TransCode is an RNA oncology company created on the belief that cancer can be defeated using RNA therapeutics. The Company has created a platform of drug candidates designed to target a variety of tumor types with the objective of significantly improving patient outcomes. The Company’s lead therapeutic candidate, TTX-MC138, is focused on treating metastatic cancer, which is believed to cause approximately 90% of all cancer deaths totaling over nine million per year worldwide. The Company believes that TTX-MC138 has the potential to produce regression without recurrence in a range of cancers, including breast, pancreatic, ovarian and colon cancer, glioblastomas and others. Two of the Company’s other drug candidates, TTX-siPDL1 and TTX-siLIN28B, focus on treating tumors by targeting PD-L1 and LIN28B, respectively. TransCode also has three cancer-agnostic programs, TTX-RIGA, an RNA–based agonist of the retinoic acid-inducible gene I, or RIG-I, approach designed to drive an immune response in the tumor microenvironment; TTX-CRISPR, a CRISPR/Cas9–based therapy platform for the repair or elimination of cancer-causing genes inside tumor cells; and TTX-mRNA, an mRNA-based platform for the development of cancer vaccines designed to activate cytotoxic immune responses against tumor cells.
About MD Anderson
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston ranks as one of the world's most respected centers focused on cancer patient care, research, education and prevention. The institution’s sole mission is to end cancer for patients and their families around the world. MD Anderson is one of only 53 comprehensive cancer centers designated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). MD Anderson is No. 1 for cancer in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals” rankings. It has been named one of the nation’s top two hospitals for cancer since the rankings began in 1990. MD Anderson receives a cancer center support grant from the NCI of the National Institutes of Health (P30 CA016672).