Pharma Focus America

Moleculin Granted FDA Fast Track Designation of WP1122 for the Treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme

Thursday, December 08, 2022

Moleculin Biotech, Inc., a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of drug candidates targeting highly resistant tumors and viruses, today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ("FDA") has granted Fast Track designation of WP1122 for the treatment of Glioblastoma Multiforme ("GBM"). The FDA's Fast Track designation is intended to potentially facilitate the development and expedite the review of novel therapies to treat serious conditions for which there is unmet medical need. With the Fast Track designation, Moleculin is potentially eligible for more frequent regulatory meetings and communications with the FDA.

"We believe receiving Fast Track designation validates the serious unmet medical need for the treatment of GBM, the most aggressive form of malignant primary brain cancer," commented Walter Klemp, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Moleculin. "We believe that based on the promising animal model data that supports GBM as one of many potential indications, the clearance of our IND for WP1122 in GBM, and Orphan Drug Designation previously received from the FDA, WP1122 is well-positioned to be a potential treatment option for this devastating disease."

GBM is the most aggressive malignant primary brain tumor and remains as an incurable tumor with a median survival of only 15 months.1 It is the most common malignant primary brain tumor making up 54% of all gliomas and 16% of all primary brain tumors,2 and despite advancements, survival rates for patients with GBM have shown no notable improvement in population statistics in the last three decades.3 The average annual age-adjusted incidence rate of GBM is 3.19 per 100,000 persons in the United States.4

WP1122 was developed as a 2-DG prodrug to provide a more favorable pharmacological profile and was found to have greater potency than 2-DG alone in preclinical models where tumor cells require higher glycolytic activity than normal cells. Although activity in animals does not necessarily translate to humans, preclinical studies in mice transplanted with human brain tumors showed that WP1122 outperformed the standard of care, temozolomide, and performed even better in combination with temozolomide.

In September of 2022, Moleculin was granted Orphan Drug Designation of WP1122 for the treatment of GBM from the FDA. Additionally, based on preclinical data indicating the potential for WP1122 as a treatment for GBM, Moleculin received FDA clearance of its Investigational New Drug application to initiate a Phase 1 open label, single arm, dose escalation study of the safety, pharmacokinetics and efficacy of oral WP1122 in adult patients with GBM. The Company is currently evaluating opportunities for collaboration in clinical development.

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