Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) precision oncology medicine


by Anna Napoli

Prescient Therapeutics Limited (ASX:PTX) Managing Director & CEO, Steven Yatomi-Clarke discusses the company’s development pipeline, its lead drug candidate PTX-200 and its Phase 2 trial results in breast cancer.

Anna Napoli: Hello, I'm Anna Napoli for the Finance News Network. Joining me now from Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) is CEO and MD, Steven Yatomi-Clarke. Steven, welcome to FNN.

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: Thank you very much for having me.

Anna Napoli: First up, can we start with an introduction to Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX)?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) is a drug development company, developing targeted therapies for cancer. We're listed on the ASX. We have two assets that are in several clinical trials right now.

Anna Napoli: Steven before we talk about your portfolio, can we talk about the science behind your approach?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: Cancer cells have various mechanisms available to them that they use to continue to grow in an uncontrolled manner, and to evade other types of the immune system and other types of therapy. Those problematic switches are the switches that we address with our targeted therapies. We look to switch off those problematic switches, bring the cells under control, and kill them in a very targeted manner.

Anna Napoli: Turning to your development pipeline now, can you tell us more starting with PTX-200.

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: PTX-200 is our lead molecule right now, and that is currently in three clinical trials. It's in breast cancer, ovarian cancer and a blood cancer called acute myeloid leukemia. So we've got three shots on goal. That switches off a problematic pathway called AKT which is present in a number of different cancers.

Anna Napoli: How about PTX-100?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: PTX-100 switches off another problematic pathway that is, it's quite separate, it's called Ras. The Ras pathway has been one of the holy grails of cancer pathways to be targeted hitherto unsuccessfully, and we've got a very unique method of targeting Ras. All the previous attempts at inhibiting Ras itself have been unsuccessful, due to it being quite a slippery type of molecule with no obvious binding sites. We inhibit downstream of Ras. We take the view that if you can't inhibit the parent, inhibit its children. That's the approach that we take with PTX-100.

Anna Napoli: In terms of collaboration, can you give us a sense of what's happening for Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX) there?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: Absolutely. You can judge a company by the company it keeps, and we're delighted to say that not only do both of our molecules come from prestigious universities, but we've got some of the best minds in their respective fields working on it. PTX-100 is licensed from Yale University, PTX-200, the owner of the IP is University of South Florida and Moffitt Cancer Centre, which is the third biggest Cancer Centre in the United States. We've got some fantastic investigators working on our studies who we're not allowed to pay to be on our studies. They are genuine thought leaders who believe in our drug and that's why they're working with it. On the breast cancer study that includes Professor Joe Sparano, a famed international authority in breast cancer. In AML it's Jeff Lancet, and many others as well.

Anna Napoli: What exactly is unique about your approach with PTX-100?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: We're taking a basket trial design with PTX-100, which is a new way of thinking about studies. Even to this day, a lot of companies are looking at phase one, phase two, phase three studies, and they're focused on cancers in particular parts of the body. Now basket trial turns that idea on its head by saying, we don't care where about in the body the cancer resides, so long as it has a particular mutation, you will go on to the study. That's why it's called a basket study, where tumours from all over the body, so long as they have the same genetic profile, people will be on to that same study. That enables a much shorter development timeframe if you enrich that population. We're I think the only ASX company taking that approach.

Anna Napoli: In terms of funding your portfolio, can you give us a sense of where you are with that, and also strategy going forward?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: We've just completed a capital raising a little while ago. Raised over $9 million from some institutional investors with particular expertise and life sciences, including some New York funds with life science expertise. That sees us well funded through to at least the end of next year, and will see us through to all the catalysts for PTX-200 and PTX-100.

Anna Napoli: Last question Steven. Why is now a good time for investors to be looking at Prescient Therapeutics (ASX:PTX)?

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: Sure thing. Well we've got catalysts across our whole portfolio due over the next 18 months, all in a staggered manner, and we've got the cash to deliver on those catalysts. To deliver those catalysts we've got a reputable share register backed by people who really know their science. We've got an experienced team to give our drugs the best chance of success.

Anna Napoli: Steven Yatomi-Clarke, thank you so much for the update.

Steven Yatomi-Clarke: Thank you very much for having me.