PreScience Labs Takes an Exciting New Approach to Fighting Cancer
By Pablo Erbar
Unlike most of its competitors in the area of oncology, PreScience Labs – a developmental stage biopharmaceutical company – has taken a new approach to treating cancer with the development of a drug, which targets a key enzyme in the glucose metabolism pathway. By attacking this enzyme, the drug shuts down the cancer’s energy production and eventually leads to the death of the tumor cells. In a recent interview with Small Cap Nation, CEO & founder Jeff Geschwind, M.D., discussed this currently unexploited method and the advantages of the new drug in development.
Most companies right now are involved in a concept called Immuno-Oncology, which consists of boosting the immune system to combat the cancer cells. “Ours is very different in that we are basically using the inherent properties of cancer (…), generating energy in a very different way from normal cells to actually kill them.” In other words, it allows the drug to target and kill the cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue, thus accomplishing two goals at the same time.
The idea behind the mechanism used by PreScience to kill cancer cells in a very specific manner has been around for quite some time. In fact, one of the key scientists attributed with the invention of this approach obtained a Nobel Prize for its discovery.
Going forward, PreScience aims to obtain an investigational new drug application from the FDA, which is necessary in order to commence clinical studies. One of the two formulations of the drug developed by the company – used for the treatment of liver cancer – has already received FDA-approval. The novel compound known as PSL-001 is delivered in a targeted manner, using the blood flowing towards the liver tumors to attack the cancer cells.
Despite being allowed to start clinical studies by the FDA, Mr. Geschwind explained that this formulation cannot be used to treat cancer outside the liver due to its fragile properties. Hence, the challenge was to find a way to enable the drug to circulate through the body until finding the target tissue.
Despite addressing cancers currently lacking effective treatment, the CEO of PreScience claimed that it could take another five to six years until the drugs hit the market. This might seem like a long period of time, but it actually represents the best-case scenario and would require the FDA to fast-track the approval process. Furthermore, Mr. Geschwind clarified that – unlike Immuno-Oncology – the metabolism-targeting approach used by PreScience is still in the early stages of development.
Since neither of the two approaches can be effectively applied to all cancer patients, the approach taken by the biopharmaceutical company should be seen as an additional weapon in the fight against cancer. The important thing to keep in mind is that, compared to Immuno-Oncology, the metabolism-targeting approach has not been sufficiently exploited for therapeutic purposes, despite being recognized and used extensively for diagnostic purposes.
Disclosure: Pablo Erbar holds no interest in any of the equities or entities mentioned above.