A Real Gem

Mar 22, 2024

Pharmaceutical companies frequently boast about the “crown jewel(s)”, which refers to their most prized and precious assets. 

The crown jewels in the EpicentRx portfolio are RRx-001 (nibrozetone) and AdAPT-001. 

Figuratively speaking, we consider RRx-001 (nibrozetone), which EpicentRx started out with, to be a real gem for many reasons: 

  1. because of how many conditions or diseases it can potentially treat in addition to cancer like cardiovascular, pulmonary, renal, hepatic, and neurological diseases 
  2. because it is in a Phase 3 clinical trial for the treatment of small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and potentially on the cusp of an approval 
  3. because it has received FDA Fast Track designation for the mitigation of severe oral mucositis 
  4. because of its one-of-a-kind defense and aerospace industry origin 
  5. because it is wholly owned by and proprietary to EpicentRx and 
  6. because of its adaptable mechanism of action, which features nitric oxide (NO) donation only under poorly oxygenated conditions that are present in so many disease states and anti-inflammation/antioxidation under well-oxygenated ones. 

Literally speaking, RRx-001 (nibrozetone) is a real-life gem because it contains a gem-dinitro group. The word “gem” in this case is short, not for jewel, but for “geminal”, which comes from the Latin “gemini” meaning twins. In chemistry, geminal describes two functional groups that are bound to the same carbon. When the prefix gem is added to a molecule it indicates a geminal relationship. 

For example, below is a geminal diol. In a geminal diol, the two OH groups attach to the same carbon.

Ditto for RRx-001 (nibrozetone), where the two nitro (O2N) groups attach to the same carbon on the four-membered azetidine ring. For this reason, RRx-001 (nibrozetone) is referred to as a gem-dinitroazetidine.

We like to imagine that when cancer cells encounter RRx-001 (nibrozetone) they communicate the following message to the rest of the tumor microenvironment, “hey, everyone, look alive, it’s us versus gem!”.