Cellceutix Corporation, a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering and developing small molecule drugs to treat unmet medical conditions, including drug resistant cancers, announced that recent research has shown that its flagship anticancer compound Kevetrin™ has potent anticancer activity in a wide range of tumor types by targeting histone deacetylase (HDAC).
Cellceutix consultant Dr. Ashok Kumor recently made the discovery during the Company's research to further define Kevetrin's Mechanism of Action (MOA). Prior investigation of the MOA has shown that Kevetrin™ activates both transcription-dependent and transcription-independent pathways to induce apoptosis in tumor cells through activation of p53, the "Guardian Angel of the Human Genome," and potentially the retinoblastoma protein, or Rb, pathway. Damaged or mutated p53 or Rb is exhibited in nearly 100 percent of all cancers, regardless of origin. The HDAC2 connection further delineates the MOA behind Kevetrin's powerful antitumor activity that has been demonstrated against multiple cancers.
Inhibition or downregulation of HDAC reduces tumor growth and survival through cell cycle arrest, blocking of angiogenesis, an increase of antigenicity of tumor cells and induction of apoptosis. Given the involvement of deacetylase in cancer, inhibition or downregulation of HDAC has been investigated as a promising anti-cancer target.
In the study, Kevetrin™ potently downregulated HDAC2 in many mutant and null p53 cancer cell lines. HDAC2 is deregulated in many cancers and is emerging as the main deacetylase involved in aberrant pathways of tumor cells in humans. Downregulation of HDAC2 by Kevetrin™ strongly induced apoptosis in different types of tumor cell lines.
"We believe we have identified the Mechanism of Action of Kevetrin which explains why Kevetrin™ is so effective in a broad spectrum of cancers," says Dr. Krishna Menon, Chief Scientific Officer at Cellceutix.
"Downregulation of HDAC2 also explains why Kevetrin™ is so effective in drug resistant tumors. Furthermore, since Kevetrin™ acts in a non-genotoxic manner and induces potent antitumor activity, we feel that Kevetrin™ is a clear standout from all other anticancer drugs. In all my years as a cancer researcher, I haven't seen a drug act like Kevetrin™ which is targeting and reacting with virtually every type of cancer."
Cellceutix management confirmed today that its plans are on track for having Kevetrin™ manufactured in February 2012 for use in its planned clinical trials as discussed in Cellceutix's press release from December 13, 2011. Cellceutix expects to commence clinical trials at the world's leading cancer center early in 2012.