Linnaeus Therapeutics, Inc. (“Linnaeus”), a privately held biopharmaceutical company focused on the development and commercialization of novel, small molecule oncology therapeutics, today announced that its scientific cofounder, Todd Ridky, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, presented new findings from his research team on a new potential therapeutic target for pancreatic cancer at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Special Conference on Pancreatic Cancer: Advances in Science and Clinical Care, which took place September 6-9, 2019, at the Westin Copley Place in Boston, Massachusetts.
The poster presentation, entitled “Pharmacologic activation of G protein-coupled estrogen receptor inhibits pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma” was authored by Natale, et al. Data from preclinical mouse pancreatic cancer models show that tumors regress, tumor growth is inhibited, and some animals experience a complete cure after treatment by a synthetic small molecule that activates a nonclassical estrogen receptor called the G protein-coupled estrogen receptor (GPER) on tumor cells. The GPER agonist also markedly increases the efficacy of anti–PD-1 targeted immunotherapy.
The work extends earlier studies from the Ridky lab showing that GPER activation inhibits melanoma. Together these studies likely help explain the mechanism underlying the decades old observation that female sex and a history of previous pregnancy are associated with improved cancer outcomes.
“It’s exciting to learn that the anticancer activity we observed with these GPER-targeted agents in preclinical melanoma models extends to other cancer types and that these agents have a therapeutic synergy with modern immunotherapy.” said Dr. Ridky.
“These data clearly demonstrate that the GPER agonist, LNS8801, has therapeutic efficacy in murine models of difficult-to-treat cancer, and we are excited to begin human testing in our phase 1b clinical trial in the coming weeks,” commented Patrick Mooney, MD, Chief Executive Officer of Linnaeus.
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