Synta Pharmaceuticals announces study results of elesclomol

Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp. (NASDAQ: SNTA), a biopharmaceutical company focused on discovering, developing, and commercializing small molecule drugs to treat severe medical conditions, today announced the results of a study evaluating the activity of elesclomol against acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cell lines and primary leukemic blast cells from AML patients, presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH) in New Orleans.

Elesclomol is a first-in-class oxidative stress inducer that triggers apoptosis (programmed cell death) in cancer cells. In laboratory studies, elesclomol has been shown to bind copper in plasma, facilitate its uptake into cells, and enable a transition between copper oxidation states once inside cancer cells. These reactions lead ultimately to the initiation of programmed cell death via the mitochondrial apoptosis pathway.

”Oxidative stress induction is a validated therapeutic approach in hematological malignancies. The results presented at ASH provide encouraging signs of activity by elesclomol, a first-in-class oxidative stress inducer, in a range of AML cell lines,” said David Hedley, M.D., Senior Scientist, Division of Applied Molecular Oncology, Ontario Cancer Institute, and Department of Medical Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, Toronto. “These experiments evaluated the mechanism of action and activity of elesclomol as a single agent against cell lines representing common genetic aberrations seen in AML as well as primary blast cells from ten AML patients. Together, these results provide a strong rationale to evaluate elesclomol in this often difficult-to-treat patient population.”

“The experiments conducted at the University of Toronto showed elesclomol was highly active against AML cell lines and primary blast cells from AML patients at concentrations substantially lower than those already achieved in cancer patients in clinical trials,” said Vojo Vukovic, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Synta. “Of particular interest were the ex vivo studies of primary AML blast cells from patients recently treated at Toronto, where all 10 samples of leukemic cells responded to exposure to elesclomol. These results provide a strong rationale for further exploring the potential of elesclomol in AML, a disease with high medical need and limited options for patients.”


Synta Pharmaceuticals Corp.


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