Storm Therapeutics, a spin-out company based upon the ground-breaking work of its founders, Professor Tony Kouzarides and Professor Eric Miska, who are Cancer Research UK-funded researchers, has today announced its first-in-class drug candidate STC-15 targeting METTL3. Cancer Research UK's Commercial Partnerships team had granted the company a licence to specific background IP relating to METTL3 arising from the research at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.
STORM Therapeutics, the leading biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapies modulating RNA epigenetics, today announces that STC-15, its first-in-class drug candidate targeting METTL3, has been selected for development towards first in human clinical studies. The Company intends to submit an IND application in 2021.
STC-15 is an orally bioavailable, small molecule METTL3 inhibitor targeting an entirely new mechanism of action (modulation of RNA epigenetics) to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and other solid and haematological cancers.
Clinical candidate selection demonstrates STORM's ground-breaking work on targeting RNA modifying enzymes for the development of new anti-cancer therapeutics. STORM has used state-of-the-art drug discovery capabilities, combined with unique analytical technologies specifically developed to target RNA epigenetics, to generate highly potent selective and orally bioavailable, small molecule inhibitors of METTL3 and other RNA modifying enzymes.
Keith Blundy, CEO of STORM Therapeutics, said: “STC-15, a highly potent and selective METTL3 inhibitor, is effective in leukaemia cells refractory to chemotherapy treatment. This patient population will be incorporated into the initial clinical trials aiming to accelerate clinical proof of concept for patients with limited other options in addition to exploring combinations with standard of care.
STORM leads the global field of RNA modulation having demonstrated in vivo proof of concept activity of the first RNA methyltransferase inhibitor in relevant animal models for myeloid and solid tumours. METTL3 is one of two programmes from the STORM platform to show in vivo activity, with others to follow.”
STORM showcased the activity of first-in-class METTL3 inhibitors in a range of solid tumours, (building on prior POC data in AML from 2019) at two scientific conferences in July 2020.