Senesco Technologies, Inc. (“Senesco” or the “Company”) (OTCQB: SNTI) reported results of preclinical studies with SNS01-T at the 55th American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting in New Orleans.
Senesco’s drug candidate, SNS01-T, which is the subject of an on-going Phase 1b/2a clinical study in B-cell cancers, induces cell death in cancer cells by reducing the levels of a protective protein and replacing it with a protein that induces cell death. The drug candidate was taken up more efficiently by malignant B-cells than normal human B-cells in non-clinical studies. Although 50% of normal B-cells took up SNS01-T, it did not cause cell death in the healthy cells, whereas cell death was readily seen in human myeloma cells.
“We are very pleased to have shown that SNS01-T can selectively kill cancerous B-cells over normal B-cells,” stated Dr. John E. Thompson, Professor Emeritus, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario and Chief Scientific Officer of Senesco. “If this effect is also observed in Senesco’s ongoing clinical trial, I believe that it could provide SNS01-T with a safety advantage over drugs that non-selectively kill both cancerous and healthy B-cells.”
Laboratory studies have already shown that, due to its design, SNS01-T does not produce significant levels of the message that makes the death-inducing protein in normal tissues including heart and liver. The new discoveries provide evidence suggesting SNS01-T may not affect normal human B-cells, which are an important protective component of the body’s immune system. This is in contrast to existing B-cell cancer therapies like rituximab, which is widely used in mantle cell and diffuse large cell lymphomas.
“This finding is consistent with a recent publication from the University of Waterloo, which demonstrated that malignant lung cancer cells are also much more sensitive than normal lung cells to Senesco’s approach,” stated Leslie J. Browne, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Senesco. “In addition, Professor Thompson’s team has shown that SNS01-T’s unique dual mode of action, attacking the cell death protein in two ways, reduces the growth of human tumors in mice more than if they used either component of the drug alone. These exciting new lab findings confirm that the dual attack has its biggest effect on the cancer cells that we need to eliminate.”