Cellectar Biosciences has launched its new small molecule cancer targeting and delivery technology for targeted delivery of chemotherapeutics.
Called Phospholipid Ether-Drug Conjugate (PDC), the platform is said to have demonstrated selective cancer targeting both preclinically in more than 60 in-vivo cancer models, and confirmed clinically in over ten cancer types.
Cellectar Biosciences CEO Jim Caruso said: "Our platform possesses the ability to link diverse oncologic payloads for targeted delivery to a broad range of cancer and cancer stem cell targets.
"Our PDC platform possesses the potential to enhance the treatment value of new and existing chemotherapeutic agents by providing more targeted drug delivery for improved tolerability and overall therapeutic index."
After evaluating the platform's payload diversity using cytotoxic radioisotopes for cancer therapy, PET imaging isotopes for cancer imaging, fluorophores for image-guided surgery, the company intends to expand its payload portfolio to chemotherapeutics such as paclitaxel and gemcitabine.
Cellectar is starting its PDC chemotherapeutic programme with two preclinical drug candidates, including CLR 1601-PTX and CLR 1605-GEM, which will use paclitaxel and gemcitabine as the respective payloads.
Preclinical data for the two drug candidates is scheduled to be updated in the fourth quarter of this year and in the first quarter of 2016.
The firm's lead PDC is CLR 131 and its payload is iodine-131, a proven cytotoxic radioisotope that is used primarily for thyroid cancer treatment.
Apart from initiating a disease-specific Phase I dose escalation study in patients with relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma in April 2014, the company also received orphan drug designation.
With an aim to determine dose-limiting toxicity and identify a Phase II dose, the firm expects to evaluate cohort I and initiate cohort II during the first half of 2016.