Seeing ‘Cu-64 SAR-bisPSMA’ in the title of an ASX announcement is enough to make many keep scrolling. However, clued in investors who read on and plug ‘radiopharmaceuticals’ into their search bar will uncover the massive market value of the space and its transformative potential.
Clinical stage radiopharmaceutical company Clarity Pharmaceuticals (ASX: CU6) is an oncology focused company working in the field of theranostics and radiopharmaceuticals to address areas of significant unmet need.
The Company has today announced the opening of their newest clinical trial into prostate cancer. The US-based ‘COBRA’ trial will see 50 participants receive treatment with the Company’s SAR-bisPSMA agent.
But what actually is it?
Clarity is developing products with a double function- to diagnose, and treat. Cu-64 SAR-bisPSMA, whilst not an easily memorable name, is a next generation theranostic (therapeutics plus diagnostics) compound which has been shown to have significant uptake and retention in tumours, with a marked anti-tumour effect.
Radiopharmaceuticals like Cu-64 SAR-bisPSMA are radioactive compounds bound to a biologic molecule that targets a certain organ or cell. This essentially delivers radiotherapy directly and specifically to cancer cells.
Radiotherapy for cancer is already commonplace where radiation is applied to the body in an effort to kill cancer cells. There are however, many well known side effects to this such as hair loss, nausea and appetite changes as the treatment attacks all quickly growing cells in the body. The origins of radiotherapy lie in the aftermath of the discovery of x-rays in the late 19th century, making it long overdue for a shake up.
Clarity is applying their specific treatment to prostate cancer patients to evaluate its safety and tolerability, as well as its ability to detect the recurrence of cancer.
Affecting hundreds of thousands of men, prostate cancer is the second most common cancer diagnosed in men, and the fifth leading cause of cancer death globally.
The multi-centre study will commence at the first trial site, the Urology Cancer Centre and GU Research Network in Omaha, Nebraska.
“The pace at which Clarity is able to open and progress the new trials of our optimised SAR-bsPSMA agent is indicative of the interest among the clinicians in the US for this product and the benefits it could deliver to the patients and their treating staff,” said Clarity’s Executive Chairman, Dr Alan Taylor.
“Opening the recruitment into the COBRA trial is an exciting step in our prostate cancer program as it signifies the growing appetite for novel radiopharmaceutical treatments that can replicate the “big pharma” centralised manufacture model in the oncology field. TCT products can be delivered to clinical trial cancer patients and their treating staff on time and at a convenient location, with minimal delays and in sufficient quantities to meet the demand and address the backlog of patients waiting for these important diagnostic radiopharmaceuticals. We look forward to imaging prostate cancer patients in the COBRA trial and gathering further evidence of the clinical and logistical benefits of our optimised SAR-bisPSMA agent in pursuit of our ultimate goal of improving treatment outcomes for cancer patients.”
Clarity has two other lead assets in development: SARTATE, an oncology theranostic for neuroendocrine tumours, and SAR-BBN, a pan-cancer theranostic being developed for a range of cancers.