HARRISON, N.Y., May 27, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Sapience Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of peptide therapeutics to address difficult to treat oncology indications, announced today that it has entered into a Collaboration Agreement with the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to investigate the activity of its lead clinical program, ST101, in specialized tumor models developed by the NCI. ST101, a first-in-class peptide antagonist of C/EBPβ is currently in a Phase 1/2 clinical study in patients with advanced unresectable and metastatic solid tumors.
The collaborative non-clinical studies will be co-led by Dr. Esta Sterneck, Senior Investigator and Head, Molecular Mechanisms in Development Section of the NCI’s Center for Cancer Research, and Dr. Jim Rotolo, Vice President of Translational Pharmacology and Head of Research at Sapience Therapeutics. Under the collaboration, Sapience and NCI will investigate the impact of ST101 on primary and metastatic cancer and the tumor microenvironment, leveraging NCI’s expertise in C/EBP biology and genetic mouse models.
“We are incredibly excited by the prospect of working with Dr. Esta Sterneck, who has made several important advances in our understanding of the role of the C/EBP family of transcription factors in signaling pathways that contribute to the malignancy of cancer cells,” said Dr. Rotolo. “Together, we aim to gain a better understanding of the breadth of activity of Sapience’s C/EBPβ peptide inhibitor, ST101, with the goal to ultimately benefit patients through identification of biomarkers of response to treatment with ST101.”
ST101 is a peptide antagonist of C/EBPβ, and in July 2020 it entered into a Phase 1/2 clinical study in patients with advanced unresectable and metastatic solid tumors (NCT04478279). C/EBPβ is a transcription factor overexpressed or activated in many cancers, but not active in normal cells (post-differentiation), providing a unique therapeutic opportunity. In tumors, C/EBPβ promotes survival and proliferation and regulates cellular differentiation. ST101 significantly decreases the expression of C/EBPβ target genes/proteins involved in oncogenesis including BCL-2, BIRC5/survivin, cyclins and ID family of proteins. As a result, ST101 induces selective cancer cell cytotoxicity across a variety of tumor types, including but not limited to breast cancer, melanoma, prostate cancer, GBM, lung cancer, and AML.
About Sapience Therapeutics
Sapience Therapeutics, Inc., is a privately held, clinical stage biotechnology company focused on discovering and developing peptide-based therapeutics for major unmet medical needs, particularly high mortality cancers. With platform-based discovery of peptide therapeutics that disrupt protein-protein interactions, Sapience’s molecules hold potential to target intracellular interactions that are traditionally considered “undruggable targets”. Its lead compound, ST101, is a first-in-class molecule with potential applications in various solid tumors and hematologic malignancies. For more information on Sapience Therapeutics, please visit www.sapiencetherapeutics.com and engage with us on LinkedIn.
Cautionary Note on Forward-Looking Statements
This press release contains forward-looking statements. Any statements herein other than statements of historical fact could be deemed to be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements may include, among other things, statements regarding future events that involve significant risks and uncertainties (including with respect to Sapience’s preclinical and clinical development programs). These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, and actual results and future events may differ materially as a result of certain factors, including, without limitation, risks related to the application of the net proceeds from the offering to Sapience’s product development objectives, our ability to obtain additional funds, and meet applicable regulatory standards and receive required regulatory approvals. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this press release. Sapience does not undertake any obligation to update any forward-looking statements as a result of new information, future events, changed assumptions or otherwise, except as required by law.
Sapience Therapeutics, Inc.
Barry Kappel, Ph.D., M.B.A.
President and Chief Executive Officer
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Released May 27, 2021