CerRx Receives $1.1 Million NIH Grant for Cancer Study

- LUBBOCK, TX (PRESS RELEASE) -- CerRx, Inc. (CerRx) today [Thursday] announced that it has been awarded a non-diluting National Institute of Health (NIH) grant of $1.1M to support a Phase I study combining its two lead investigational compounds intravenous (IV) fenretinide and IV safingol. These drugs act together to specifically kill cancer cells by increasing certain toxic ‘ceramide’ waxes in cancer cells.

Bill Simpson, chief operating officer, stated, “We are very excited to be awarded an NIH SBIR (Small Business Innovation Research) grant to begin our clinical studies of this novel approach to treating cancers,” Simpson said, “Both IV fenretinide and IV safingol have successfully completed phase I single agent studies. Fenrentide has shown early signs of activity including sustained complete remissions in several cancer patients who remain free of disease for many years and laboratory studies show that safingol markedly potentiates the cancer-specific activity of fenretinide. The SBIR funding, coupled with current Texas angel investor monies, enables CerRx to work with the South Plains Oncology Consortium (www.SPONC.org) to conduct this innovative approach targeting cancer cells.”

C. Patrick Reynolds, M.D., Ph.D., chief scientific officer of CerRx and director at the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) School of Medicine Cancer Center, said, “The combination of fenretinide plus safingol provides a very exciting and novel approach to selectively attacking cancer cells of many types in adults and children and we are delighted that this imporant clinical trial will be carried out here in Texas.”

About CerRx

CerRx is an intermediate stage, targeted oncology drug discovery and development company that is developing anticancer therapeutics that target the ceramide pathway. ‘Ceramides’ are key wax-like building blocks used by cells to make membranes and as signaling molecules. CerRx drugs trick cancer cells to overproduce certain ceramides and cause their death with little or no ill effects to healthy normal cells. To date, CerRx agents have shown multiple, sustained, complete responses in T-cell lymphomas, and with early indications of activity in adenocarcinomas of the colon and esophagus, and in pediatric neuroblastoma.

CerRx is developing several clinical and preclinical compounds in collaboration with investigators at the TTUHSC School of Medicine Cancer Center, and with support from the National Cancer Institute (NCI)

Developmental Therapeutics Program of the National Institutes of Health, support from the NCI grant R44CA183316, and support from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT). 

For more information, visit www.CerRx.com.

(Press release from CerRx) 

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