NMT Pharmaceuticals Pte Ltd (NMT Pharma) has announced that it has signed a legally binding Letter of Intent with US-based CAO Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CAO Pharma) for acquiring an exclusive worldwide license right to further develop and market an anti-cancer drug CZ-48 co-developed by CAO Pharma and NMT Pharma.
NMT Pharma and CAO Pharma will enter into agreements that would secure funding needed by CAO Pharma to continue to operate and conduct clinical trials in US. The collaboration is subjected to, among with other requirements, satisfactory completion of due diligence and the execution of a definitive agreement.
CZ-48 is an analogue of camptothecin which is stable and resistant to inactivation while circulating in human bloodstream. This topoisomerase I inhibitor only becomes active when entering in tumor cells. Based on preclinical and previous Phase I clinical trial data, CZ-48 has very low toxicity and mild side effects.
CAO Pharma and NMT Pharma have improved the formulation of CZ-48 to increase the bioavailability of the drug so as to further reduce the side effects and improve therapeutic effects. CAO Pharma intends to re-start the Phase I clinical study program with the new CZ-48 formulation within this year.