VioQuest Pharmaceuticals has that the Company and the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) Center for Cancer Research have entered into a Clinical Trial Agreement (CTA) for the Company’s product candidate VQD-002 (triciribine phosphate monohydrate or TCN-P).
VQD-002 is a small molecule anticancer compound that inhibits activation of protein kinase B (PKB or AKT), a key component of the phosphoinosotide-3 kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway known to promote cancer cell growth and survival as well as resistance to chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
The agreement provides for the NCI to sponsor a clinical trial of VQD-002 in combination with erlotinib (Tarceva®), an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor. EGFR is overexpressed or amplified in a variety of tumor types and is a major target in the treatment of advanced lung cancer and other solid tumors.
Recent reports have shown that the sensitivity of multiple types of solid tumors to EGFR inhibitors is dependent on inhibition of the PI3K pathway, suggesting that VQD-002 might be clinically useful to enhance response to erlotinib.
"Through this agreement, we expand the clinical development opportunities for VQD-002 and gain access to the NCI’s broad network of scientists conducting NCI-sponsored clinical trials," said Michael D. Becker, president and chief executive officer of VioQuest Pharmaceuticals.
"The NCI’s efforts will complement our own clinical studies of VQD-002, which will enhance our understanding of the drug's activity and safety as an anti-tumor agent. The knowledge gained from our combined efforts will hopefully lead to VQD-002 becoming an important new drug in the war against cancer," Becker.