Pacylex Pharmaceuticals,an oncology company unlocking a new approach to cancer therapy, and Greenfire Bio, a new Life Science development and investment company, announced the closing of Series A financing for Pacylex. These funds will be used to support the initial Phase 1 clinical investigation of PCLX-001, a first-in-class N-myristoyltransferase(NMT) inhibitor, in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma and solid tumor patients. Pacylex is leading the development of novel therapies targeting the biological process of myristoylation in cancer.
“We are excited to be a catalyst for this new innovation in oncology” said Ajit Gill, CEO of Greenfire Bio. “Our goal is to build a portfolio of potential breakthroughs in medicine, and we look forward to seeing PCLX-001 move into the clinic.”
“The support from Greenfire Bio is essential for our transformation into a clinical stage company”, said Michael Weickert, CEO of Pacylex. “Pioneering a new target and first-in-class therapy is extraordinarily important to expand cancer treatment options and improve patient outcomes. We are delighted to find the right investor with an appreciation for this groundbreaking work.”
Clinical site preparations are underway for the open label, dose escalation, Phase 1 clinical trial, principally to evaluate the safety of PCLX-001. The study will enroll 20-30 patients and the Company anticipates that enrollment will begin within the next month. A No Objection Letter from Health Canada was received by Pacylex on March 8, 2021, authorizing the planned Phase 1 Trial of PCLX-001 in relapsed/refractory B-cell Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and advanced solid malignancies. PCLX-001 is believed to be the first NMT inhibitor that will be clinically tested. Three principal investigators will oversee the clinical study at three clinical sites in Canada: Dr.John Kuruvilla at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, Dr. Randeep Sangha at the Cross Cancer Institute in Edmonton and Dr. Laurie Sehn at the British Columbia Cancer Center in Vancouver.
PCLX-001 is a small molecule, first-in-class NMT inhibitor, originally developed by the University of Dundee Drug Discovery Unit as part of a program to treat African sleeping sickness funded by Wellcome Trust. Pacylex is developing PCLX-001, which has excellent oral bioavailability, to treat leukemia and lymphoma. PCLX-001 selectively kills cancer cells and completely regresses (eliminates) tumors in animal models of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) and Burkitt lymphoma (BL). PCLX-001 has also been shown to inhibit the growth of lung and breast cancer tumors in animal models. In leukemia, lymphoma and breast cancer patients, the level of NMT2 is correlated with survival, suggesting an important biological role in these cancers. In tests using cultured cancer cells in vitro, PCLX-001 is at least ten times as potent as ibrutinib (Imbruvica) and dasatinib (Sprycel), two clinically approved drugs currently used to treat hematologic malignancies.