A Bug and A Drug

May 16, 2024

If you, like Huey Lewis memorably sang in 1987, want a new drug…

One that won’t make me sick
One that won’t make me crash my car
Or make me feel three feet thick
I want a new drug
One that won’t hurt my head
One that won’t make my mouth too dry
Or make my eyes too red

then here’s some potentially good news (The News being the name of Huey Lewis’ band), EpicentRx has two!

One is a drug, and one is a bug.

The bug is called (AdAPT-001) and it carries a transforming growth factor beta (TGF-β) trap that binds to and eliminates the immunosuppressive, proangiogenic, and profibrotic cytokine, TGF-β. It is currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial for the treatment of sarcomas and triple negative breast cancer with one or more checkpoint inhibitors.

The drug is called RRx-001 (nibrozetone), a small molecule with several mechanisms of action including anti-inflammation from NLRP3 inhibition, antioxidation from Nrf2 stimulation, and nitric oxide donation under hypoxia. It is currently in a Phase 3 clinical trial called REPLATINUM for the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and a Phase 2b clinical trial called KEVLARx in locally advanced head and neck cancer for the amelioration/prevention of severe oral mucositis, a common complication of radiation and chemotherapy. The “secret sauce” in RRx-001 is a 4-membered square ring called a dinitroazetidine, which undoubtedly resonates with Huey Lewis.

Because as Huey Lewis also sings, It’s Hip To Be Square.