Reflecting on a milestone year: Prescient Therapeutics readies for next stage in cancer battle

Australian biotech company Prescient Therapeutics has achieved numerous milestones in the past financial year as it advances the development of its cancer-fighting treatments.

Australian biotech company Prescient Therapeutics has achieved numerous milestones in the past financial year as it advances the development of its cancer-fighting treatments.

The company ended the year with a deeper pipeline of highly valuable cancer assets rapidly advancing towards multiple value-adding milestones. The business is in a sound financial position and well-funded to progress its development programs.  

Excellent progress was also made in the development of PTX-100 and PTX-200 assets with both clinical programs advancing to key development milestones on the back of good data and ongoing investigator support. 

Both targeted cancer therapies achieved important clinical milestones during the reporting period. 

The PTX-100 Phase 1b basket trial – led by chief investigator Professor Miles H. Prince – progressed through dose escalation, yielding encouraging results after the reporting period. 

It is now the focus of T cell lymphomas in an expansion cohort. The ongoing Phase 1b trial of PTX-200 with cytarabine in patients with relapsed and refractory acute myeloid leukemia (AML) progressed to higher dose levels under an amended protocol based on strong safety and efficacy data at lower dose levels. 

Meanwhile, Prescient has been undertaking Cell Therapy Enhancement (CTE) programs at both Carina Biotech and the Peter MacCallum Cancer Center (Peter Mac). During the period Prescient consolidated these two programs so that they are now being undertaken at Peter Mac, reflecting the growing relationship between Prescient and Peter Mac. 

Prescient thanks Carina Biotech and its partners at University of Adelaide for their contribution to the collaboration. The CTE programs are currently in stealth mode but Prescient looks forward to sharing these exciting projects in due course.

Another clear highlight of the reporting period was the initiation of development of OmniCAR – a universal, modular CAR platform created to overcome many of the well-documented limitations and challenges of current CAR-T treatments, especially in the area of solid tumours. 

Significant time was invested assessing and developing a practical clinical development strategy for OmniCAR in collaboration with a range of industry stakeholders, including leading CAR-T researchers; key opinion leaders; venture capital firms; industry; and specialist not for profit cancer organisations. 

This strategic review identified three internal programs for OmniCAR: AML; Her2+ solid tumours and glioblastoma multiforme. All of these next-generation CAR-T programs are highly differentiated from other programs and seek to utilise the capabilities of the OmniCAR platform to overcome the challenges that have plagued other CAR-T approaches.

Work commenced with haste, with successful completion of manufacturing of binders; OmniCAR T-cells and immunogenicity testing of OmniCAR platform components. 

Further operational progress

While the pandemic provided challenges on a number of operation fronts, Prescient is inspired and encouraged by the unwavering commitment of its talented clinical collaborators and their focus on finding new solutions for their cancer patients. 

Prescient began the reporting period with two of its clinical assets chosen by Australia’s Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and immunity to explore for their potential anti-viral capabilities against the SARS-CoV-2 virus which causes COVID-19. While the data from early work was strong, Prescient decided to put the work on hold with the emergence of effective vaccines.   

A successful $13.5 million placement and share purchase plan in August received overwhelming support from new and existing shareholders. The funds raised allow Prescient to continue its growth at a rapid pace towards the next value creating milestones.  

The same month saw the initiation of the cell therapy work with leading researchers at the Peter Mac. This important collaboration expanded during the year and one of the leading CAR-T experts at Peter Mac, Professor Phillip Darcy. Prescient has a strong and growing collaborative relationship with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

There is a high level of interest and excitement among the clinical community around the potential of these new CAR-T technologies that have been specifically designed to improve therapies already showing remarkable results in some cancers.  

Prescient’s OmniCAR programs have opened the door to meaningful discussions with leading research teams and companies that will not only help develop new markets and indications for the technology, but also enable Prescient to combine its capabilities in ways that have the potential to profoundly improve cancer care. 

Prescient has continued to attract talented and experienced people to its team, including Dr Rebecca Lim (Director of Scientific Affairs); Dr Dan Shelly (VP – Business Development and Alliances); and post the reporting period, Leanne West (Director of Clinical Affairs). Prescient also has four full-time researchers at Peter Mac to drive its CTE and OmniCAR programs.

Prescient’s intellectual property position has expanded considerably over the past 12 months with much of the ground-breaking insights and progress made being retained and owned by the Company. 

This is an important and largely unseen aspect of Prescient’s business, which creates enormous future value and opportunities. 

A key development in this regard was the notice of allowance for new patents covering methods for using a specific biomarker to stratify breast cancer patients and identify those most likely to respond to treatment with PTX-100.  

The allowance of this patent for a biomarker is in keeping with Prescient’s personalised medicine approach to identify the right treatment for the right patient. 

Prescient has laid the foundations for significant future growth in recent times, and the achievements of the last year are just the beginning as their pipeline of innovative cancer therapies progress through their development. 

To stay up-to-date on Prescient’s news and announcements, register your details on the Investor Centre.


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