Going after glioblastoma
SEONGNAM, South Korea & MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.—Jan. 3 saw an announcement by 1ST Biotherapeutics Inc., a preclinical-stage biotechnology company focused on neurodegenerative diseases, immuno-oncology and orphan diseases, and twoXAR Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI)-driven biopharmaceutical company, that they had formed an agreement to jointly discover and develop novel, efficacious treatments to address unmet medical needs in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
Further details of the agreement were not disclosed, but under this deal, twoXAR will use its proprietary AI technology to identify a set of drug candidates with the potential to slow, stop or reverse the progression of GBM—then, twoXAR and 1ST Biotherapeutics will select candidates from this set to test in preclinical efficacy models of the disease. Following identification of one or more candidates based on those evaluated, 1ST Biotherapeutics will use its team’s expertise in drug development to optimize candidates and finalize the creation of potential treatments.
GBM is the most common and lethal primary malignant brain tumor, with a median survival of approximately 15 months. It is characterized by an aggressive tumor that infiltrates various portions of the brain and is associated with rapid onset of neurological symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, severe headaches, cognitive issues and seizures. Current treatment options consist of surgical resection, radiation, chemotherapy and angiogenesis inhibitors. However, most GBM patients experience disease relapse despite these aggressive therapies. It is estimated that 25,000 people received a glioblastoma diagnosis in 2018.
“1ST Biotherapeutics is focused on efficiently building a pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic candidates with high likelihood of clinical success,” said Jamie Jae Eun Kim, CEO of 1ST Biotherapeutics. “The twoXAR team has a track record of rapidly identifying testable novel treatments that can lead to first-in-class therapeutics. This collaboration is an opportunity to combine twoXAR’s AI-driven drug discovery approach and the 1ST Biotherapeutics team’s expertise in chemistry and pharmacology to discover and develop effective molecular therapeutics for glioblastoma patients.”
“We are pleased to collaborate with 1ST Biotherapeutics, because we share common goals of efficiently discovering and developing novel therapeutics for diseases with high unmet medical need, such as glioblastoma,” added Andrew A. Radin, co-founder and CEO of twoXAR. “The 1ST Biotherapeutics team’s deep medicinal chemistry and drug development experience in CNS and oncology diseases provides a strong complement to twoXAR’s data-driven discovery approach.”