MetaMx™ is composed of novel, synthetic peptides that target and attach to BTICs and invasive glioma cells, for the purpose of imaging, diagnosis and developing targeted therapies to improve patient outcomes and survival rates among glioblastoma patients.
Worldwide, there are approximately 70,000 new patients with malignant glioma each year and clinical outcomes for these patients have not changed substantially over the past 30 years. Average survival rates remain at a dismal 12-15 months and long term survivors (i.e. those surviving more than 3 years) are rare.
This poor survival rate is linked to brain tumour initiating cells (BTICs) and invasive glioma cells which represent disease reservoirs that are not detectable using current diagnostic techniques as they are indiscernible from normal tissue. As a result, these cells are usually left behind in brain tissue post surgery and often lead to tumour relapse and poor patient outcomes.
Therefore, a significant unmet medical need and commercial opportunity is the ability to target BTICs and invasive glioma cells for the purpose of imaging, diagnosing and developing targeted therapies to improve patient outcomes and survival rates.
MetaMx™ – Targeting disease reservoirs of Malignant Glioma
Arch researchers have developed a library of unique peptides called “MetaMx™” that specifically target BTICs. The lead inventors of MetaMx are Dr. Stephen Robbins, Dr. Donna Senger and Dr. Jennifer Rahn at the University of Calgary.
Proof of principle studies have confirmed that MetaMx™ effectively identifies human brain tumor disease reservoirs. Arch scientists have achieved the imaging of human glioma cells and brain tumor initiating cells in mice using magnetic resonance imaging.
Arch Biopartners is working with d3 Medicine to complete pre-clinical preparation to test MetaMx™ in patients with malignant glioma. Pre-clinical tasks recently completed include confirmation of MetaMx chemistry, manufacturing and controls; toxicology needs and regulatory strategy to pursue an Investigational New Drug application.
Arch intends to perform this human trial to characterize the safety and pharmacokinetics of MetaMx™ and to demonstrate its ability to cross the human blood brain barrier and detect brain tumor initiating cells (BTICs) and invasive glioma cells. Such results in human patients will increase the value of MetaMx™ not only as a diagnostic and imaging tool, but also as a potential drug delivery platform to destroy BTICs and invasive glioma cells.
Leading the d3 team is Dr. Patrick Smith, D3’s Chief Science Officer and former head of US Clinical Pharmacology for Roche. Dr. Michael Taylor, Founder and Principal at NonClinical Safety Assessment, will be responsible for planning the toxicology needs of MetaMx.
Dr. Krishnan Viswanadha, will have the Regulatory Lead for MetaMx. Dr. Viswanadhan is Vice President of Advyzom, a leading regulatory affairs boutique consulting company.