The “Sandy” Transformation of Nibrozetone (RRx-001)

Sep 26, 2023

September 26 is/was the birthday of the late great Australian singer and actress, Olivia Newton-John, who died of cancer. Often duplicated but never imitated is the 1978 movie, Grease, that she starred in with John Travolta. Her character, Sandy, undergoes a radical transformation from super nice and sweet to super tough and brazen at the end of the movie.

Similarly, the EpicentRx small molecule, nibrozetone (RRx-001), also radically transforms— in tumors. This Sandy-like transformation is literally a radical one because nibrozetone (RRx-001) decomposes in tumors to release several free radical species including nitric oxide, which are toxic to tumors.

However, outside of the tumor environment, the evidence suggests that nibrozetone (RRx-001) is protective to normal tissues. The mechanisms behind normal tissue protection are inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome, which reduces inflammation, and stimulation of the antioxidant transcription factor, Nrf2.

Potentially indicative of these protective properties are results from a randomized Phase 2a clinical trial called PREVLAR in which the addition of nibrozetone (RRx-001) to chemotherapy and radiation (CRT) dramatically improved the incidence and duration of both severe oral mucositis and other related toxicities.

Potentially indicative of its cytotoxic properties is an ongoing randomized Phase 3 clinical trial called REPLATINUM involving the comparison of nibrozetone (RRx-001) plus platinum chemotherapy to platinum chemotherapy alone.

To paraphrase from Grease, we got chills and they’re multiplying for the start of the follow-on Phase 2b clinical trial called KEVLARx in head and neck cancer and for top-line results from the Phase 3 REPLATINUM.