Biotechnology company, Tyme Technologies, Inc. is studying different therapeutic approaches to target cancer’s unique metabolism.
By advancing proprietary cancer metabolism-based therapies (CMBTsTM) for difficult-to-treat metastatic cancers, they’re looking to do something different from traditional cancer care.
“This is a next generation approach that is designed to both control cancer and allow patients to have a more normal quality of life,” says Ben Taylor, president and chief financial officer of Tyme Technologies, Inc.
Attacking the cancer externally has been the approach in recent years, but that’s changing.
“This approach is the opposite of chemotherapy,” says Taylor. “Rather than try to destroy cancer from the outside, it inserts a Trojan horse into the cancer. You’re killing the cancer cell from the inside.”
Here’s how it works: cancer cells need special amino acids to thrive and this new metabolic approach makes one of those amino acids dysfunctional. The cancer cells don’t recognize the metabolic treatment as being anything foreign so they don’t try to fight it. So far, it’s having significant impact.
Take pancreatic cancer patients for example. Every year, 50,000 Americans are diagnosed with the deadly disease that happens when pancreatic cells grow out of control to form a tumor. The outlook is grim — 93 percent of patients do not survive five years after diagnosis.
“Most treatments for pancreatic cancer kill the cancer cells, in addition to the healthy cells,” says Michele Korfin, Tyme’s chief operating officer. “This treatment was developed to target just the cancer cells.”
The biotech company, TYME, developed and is studying an investigational oral cancer metabolism-based therapy SM-88 for patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer.
So far, the drug has had “encouraging tumor responses” across 15 cancers with minimal serious adverse events. Korfin says data was recently presented showing patients with third-line pancreatic cancer have a prognosis of living two to two-and-a-half months. But with this new metabolic treatment, many of these same pancreatic cancer patients had a life expectancy of almost six-and-a-half months.
The same drug is also being studied in patients with prostate and sarcoma cancers. TYME will be looking into starting trials for other cancers in the near future. Right now, there’s an urgent need for cancer therapies since the United States has an increased prevalence of late-stage cancer patients.
TYME wants to help cancer patients have more options to improve and extend their quality of life. They welcome a broad range of patients to their trials, including recruiting patients who are very sick. Patients can take the therapies at home so they can be at home with their families, instead of at a clinic, hospital, or doctor’s office.
“We’re looking to improve outcomes for the patient but also looking to do so in a way that side effects are well-tolerated by the patient,” says Korfin, noting the oral therapy is easy and convenient for patients to take.
They’re continuing to grow the pipeline of these metabolic therapies into 2032, including 162 patents granted or pending globally. TYME plans to initiate a pivotal trial in third-line pancreatic cancer in the third quarter of 2019.
They’re also partnering with the world’s largest patient advocacy group committed to curing pancreatic cancer, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, through their Precision PromiseTM platform to launch an adaptive pivotal trial using SM-88 in second-line pancreatic cancer in the third quarter of 2019.
TYME is eager to pair their disease-altering approach with other innovative treatments in the interest of helping cancer patients live longer and better lives.
“At TYME, we’re very passionate about helping patients with unmet medical needs,” says Korfin. “Our focus is on those difficult-to-treat cancers and targeting the cancer cell and sparing the healthy cell.”
Kristen Castillo, [email protected]