More than 600,000 people are expected to die from cancer this year, according to the National Cancer Institute.
However, one Kansas company in Sterling is working to decrease that number and ultimately find a cure.
“So you got Silicon Valley, Austin, Texas, and the research triangle in North Carolina that are your big biotech hubs,” MD Chief operating officer Cameron West said. “But, nobody really thinks of Sterling, Kansas.”
Last week, The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Genzada Pharmaceuticals’ Investigational New Drug application for a Phase 1 human clinical trial for its new cancer treatment called GZ1- 6.02.
“It’s knocking out multiple hallmarks of cancer,” West said. “So, it helps shrink the tumors. It helps block the cancer from spreading. So, it works on a lot of different ways.”
6.02 is a molecule that is plant derived from a Arum palaestinum (black calla lily) combined with Curcumin, Harmine and Isovanillin.
Based on preclinical studies, West said this compound should have fewer side effects for patients dealing with various tumors and lymphoma, especially pancreatic cancer and neck squamous cell carcinoma.
The compound acts as a inhibitor to super enhancers in the body.
“Super enhancers are clusters of genes that then control a large number of genes downstream that are involved in cancer,” he said.
The drug is an orally delivered drug that patients will be able to take at home.
“It’s something that maintains patients to obtain a good quality of life,” West said.
At the beginning of 2019, the company said they will start enrolling their patients for the clinical trial.