business-agreementKarus Therapeutics, a leader in the development of innovative medicines with breakthrough potential in the treatment of haematological cancers and solid tumour immunotherapy, has entered into a strategic preclinical and clinical collaboration with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The collaboration will include both of Karus’s lead cancer candidates, KA2237 and KA2507.

Under the agreement, MD Anderson the world’s leading cancer research and care centre, will work collaboratively on a number of preclinical studies with a focus on identifying optimal drug combinations and the appropriate patient populations for further clinical development.

KA2237 is a dual-PI3K-p110β/δ inhibitor that exerts both a targeted anti-cancer and tumor immunotherapeutic action with broad potential to treat hematological and solid malignancies as a single-agent and in combination.  The first clinical trial under the collaboration is expected to commence in H1 2016 and will establish the maximum tolerated dose (MTD) of KA2237 in lymphoma patients.

KA2507, a selective-HDAC6 inhibitor, also has both a targeted therapy and immunotherapeutic action and has potential in the treatment of multiple myeloma, B- and T-cell lymphomas and PD-L1 expressing solid tumours.

Dr Simon Kerry, CEO of Karus Therapeutics commented: “MD Anderson is at the forefront of research and development in innovative cancer therapies and we are delighted that their scientific and clinical teams share Karus’s enthusiasm for KA2237 and KA2507.  We look forward to working with world-class scientists and clinicians to maximize the efficiency with which we can move our programmes into the clinic. Furthermore, with access to a large patient population at the Center we will be able to accelerate our clinical studies, bringing us one step closer to transforming the treatment of cancers with a high unmet medical need through our proprietary, isoform-selective PI3K-p110β/δ and HDAC6 inhibitors.”

“At the heart of all we do is what is best for our patients, and research such as this that combines the best of academia and private industry may very well bring new solutions to how we treat these cancers,” said Robert Orlowski, MD, chair, ad interim of Lymphoma/Myeloma at MD Anderson.