Capella Therapeutics Inc. recently presented data on an epidermal growth factor receptor inhibitor (LL-067) under development in its laboratories that can accumulate in the brain and prevent the growth of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The data were presented at the 4th AACR/ IASLC International Joint Conference: Lung Cancer Translational Science from the Bench to Clinic.
“When tested in several orthotopic brain models in mouse utilizing IVIS technology, compound LL-067 significantly reduced the size of the brain tumor within one week of treatment.” said Dr. Nicholas Cacalano, researcher at the University of California, David Geffen School of Medicine and responsible for the data presentation at the conference, in a press release. Funded by Capella Therapeutics, the study was led by UC San Diego’s Moores Cancer Center and UCLA’s David Geffen School of Medicine.
“This research shows that LL-067, an epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor, can cross the blood-brain barrier and kill the non-small cell lung cancer in the brain,” explained Dr. Yun Long, founder of Capella Therapeutics and who plans to begin clinical trials in 2016. “There is a large, unmet medical need for treatment of patients whose lung cancer has metastasized into the brain. Very few compounds can gain brain access and there is no approved targeted therapy to treat EGFR-driven brain metastasis. We could potentially monopolize the treatment in this field,” Dr. Long added.
Lung cancer is one of the most fatal forms of cancer in the U.S., having caused approximately 158,040 fatalities in 2015 – 27% of all cancer victims. Lung cancer occurs more frequently than colorectal, breast and prostate cancers together. NSCLC is the most frequent among lung cancers, being estimated that nearly 85% of all diagnoses of lung cancer are NSCLC cases. Nearly half of the NSCLC patients eventually develop brain metastasis, which makes Capella Therapeutics’ compound a significant discovery that may impact many lives.
Capella Therapeutics was founded in 2014, in San Diego, having since then focused on the discovery and development of small molecule drugs to treat cancer and inflammatory diseases. Dr. Yun Long, the company’s founder, received education in chemistry, and has relevant biotechnology experience. Capella Therapeutics has previously partnered with Signal Pharmaceuticals and the Signal Division of Celgene.