Curasight resently presented results from the phase II study with uTRACE in brain cancer at the 2023 World Molecular Imaging Congress held in Prague. The study reveals promising data on the effectiveness of uTRACE and thereby also the potential for uTREAT in treating high-grade gliomas. BioStock contacted CEO Ulrich Krasilnikoff to learn more about the results.
Curasight is a clinical development company headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, specialising in the field of cancer theranostics. The company has developed two main technologies: uTRACE and uTREAT. Both target a specific protein found in cancer cells called uPAR. The technologies aim to make cancer diagnosis and treatment better and more efficient.
Main indication for Curasight
Earlier this year, Curasight could present positive topline data from an investigator-initiated phase II study in brain cancer. High-grade brain tumours, or gliomas, including glioblastomas, present a significant unmet medical need. Annually, approximately 65,000 patients are diagnosed with primary brain tumours in the US and EU, and more than 30,000 of these are diagnosed with the aggressive form, glioblastoma.
This cancer indication sits at the heart of Curasight’s development strategy, making the topline results an important milestone for the company.
Phase II results presented at WMIC
The phase II study focused on 24 glioma patients, including 22 with high-grade gliomas and 2 with low-grade gliomas. It found that the majority of the glioma patients displayed uPAR-positive tumours, and that high uPAR expression was significantly correlated with a worse outcome. Learn more about the results here.
These findings were recently presented in an oral session by Dr. Aleena Azam from Rigshospitalet and the University of Copenhagen, at the World Molecular Imaging Congress in Prague. The abstract will also be published in an upcoming issue of the medical journal Molecular Imaging and Biology.
Implications for uTREAT
The phase II results are not only an important step for uTRACE, but they also align with recently reported positive preclinical data on uTREAT. The preclinical results showed that animals treated with uTREAT survived longer compared to those not treated, validating the potential for uTREAT to be used as a radioligand therapy for the treatment of aggressive brain cancer. This further supports the company’s ambition to pursue a theranostic approach in glioblastoma patients.
Comments from the CEO
BioStock contacted Curasight CEO Ulrich Krasilnikoff to learn more about the latest results.
Firstly, the phase II results were recently presented at World Molecular Imaging Congress. What does that mean for the project?
– We are proud that the investigator-initiated phase II trial in brain cancer was selected for an oral presentation at the World Molecular Imaging Congress in Prague. We believe this phase II clinical data supports our focus on brain cancer and we will make every effort to move our theranostic strategy with uTRACE and uTREAT in these patients forward.
– The current poor prognosis in these patients and the need for better therapies make us committed to bring our technology fast forward to we hopefully will be able to help the patients to a better outlook and life.
In the presentation, Dr. Aleena Azam gave some more details on the results with uTRACE. Could you share some of the most important findings?
– The most important findings of the study are that the majority of the glioma patients displayed uPAR-positive tumours and a high uPAR expression is significantly correlated with a worse outcome. This is important as the study demonstrates the potential of uPAR-targeted radionuclide therapy with uTREAT can be used for patients with high-grade gliomas.
– More specifically, the patients were followed over time to assess progression-free survival and overall survival. Patients were divided into high and low uPAR groups. Of the Glioblastomas 94% (15 of 16) were uPAR-PET positive and uPAR-PET was highly prognostic; the high uptake group compared to the low uptake group had a more than 10-fold poorer prognosis.
With these results for uTRACE and uTREAT in brain cancer, what happens in those projects now?
– Curasights first goal is to advance its lead products uTREAT and uTRACE to improve outcomes for all the patients in the US and EU diagnosed with brain tumours. Due to the high unmet need, we are now working on how to accelerate development program both for uTRACE and uTREAT in this indication.
– As glioblastoma is a rare disease in both US and EU, we believe we can qualify for Orphan Drug Designation and by that get a Priority Review, Breakthrough Therapy Designation, or Accelerated Approval by the authorities.The content of BioStock’s news and analyses is independent but the work of BioStock is to a certain degree financed by life science companies. The above article concerns a company from which BioStock has received financing.