Salarius Pharma Rises on Partnership with Ivy Brain Tumor Center

- August 26th, 2019

Shares of Salarius Pharmaceuticals rose by more than 20 percent after the announcement came out on Monday.

Salarius Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:SLRX) revealed on Monday (August 26) that it has entered into a partnership with the Ivy Brain Tumor Center to work on Salarius’ drug candidate to treat glioblastoma, which is one of the most aggressive forms of brain cancer.

The company’s drug candidate, called Seclidemstat, will be tested by the two entities in a pre-clinical study that will target lysine-specific histone demethylase 1A (LSD1), an enzyme that is commonly found in tumors of brain cancer patients.

Following the announcement, Salarius Pharmaceuticals’ share price increased over 26 percent in early trading on Monday to US$13.31 as of 10:10 a.m. EDT. Throughout the course of the one-day trading period, shares of Salarius Pharmaceuticals increased by 21.39 percent overall to close at US$12.20 as of 3:43 p.m. EDT on Monday.

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Salarius already has Seclidemstat in two different Phase 1 clinical studies. The first is for refractory or relapsed Ewing’s sarcoma, which is cancer that develops in the bone or soft tissue; the second is a study for advanced solid tumors.

“Seclidemstat is highly differentiated LSD1 inhibitor with unique properties that may enable efficacy in a broader range of cancer types. Seclidemstat and/or its analogs have shown the potential for synergies with chemotherapies and other targeted agents,” Ivy Brain Tumor Center Director Dr. Nadar Sanai said in the press release. “This gives us hope that Seclidemstat may be effective in treating a number of aggressive cancers, including glioblastoma.”

Together, the Ivy Brain Tumor Center and Salarius Pharmaceuticals will work to advance the study using their core strengths. For the Ivy Brain Tumor Center, this includes its animal models, pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics facilities; these will be used along with Salarius Pharmaceuticals to complete survival studies, animal imaging, toxicology assessment and in vivo pharmaco-metabolic analysis to the table.

Should the pre-clinical program go as planned it will move into the next stage, which includes a Phase 0 clinical trial. Here, researchers will decide whether or not Salarius’ drug candidate is positively impacting a patient’s tumor.

According to the Brain Tumor Foundation of Canada, two to three people of every 100,000 people in the US are diagnosed with glioblastoma. Glioblastoma is the most common and aggressive type of brain tumors and is comprised of a range of cell types. Symptoms of glioblastoma include headaches, nausea, seizures, memory loss and changes in personality. Symptoms can onset early, although it is possible that symptoms only begin showing up once the tumor has advanced in its size.

Due to the rareness of the disease, glioblastoma remains an area with limited treatment options. Data from the National Cancer Institute shows that as of May 20, 2019, there are 13 drugs approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for brain tumors.

“Salarius is well positioned and highly-motivated to provide a new therapeutic option for a number of cancers with high unmet medical need,” David Arthur, president and CEO of Salarius Pharmaceuticals, said in the release.

Monday’s announcement comes one month after the company announced it had enrolled the first patient in its Phase 1 clinical study of Seclidemstat in patients with advanced solid tumors that haven’t responded to other standard treatments. According to the press release, Salarius Pharmaceuticals anticipates it will have data from this study and its Ewing sarcoma clinical study sometime next year.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Jocelyn Aspa, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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