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Oncoheroes strengthens its childhood cancer asset portfolio with two new compounds from Allarity

Oncoheroes Biosciences and Allarity Therapeutics have signed a worldwide, exclusive pediatric licensing agreement for dovitinib and stenoparib. With these two new acquisitions, Onchoeroes -which centralises its global drug development capabilities in its R&D Laboratory at the Barcelona Science Park, has a total of four drug candidates for childhood oncology, three of them ready to enter the clinical phase.

Under the terms of the licensing agreements, Oncoheroes acquires global, exclusive rights to both clinical-stage therapeutic compounds for pediatric cancer clinical development. Allarity will support Oncoheroes’ pediatric clinical trials by providing access to its DRP® companion diagnostic for the selection of patients that are most likely to respond to both drugs. Financial terms of the licenses were not disclosed.

“Oncoheroes is a leader in pediatric oncology and Allarity’s ideal pediatric-focused partner to advance both dovitinib and stenoparib as potential new therapeutic options for children and adolescents with cancer,” explains Steve R. Carchedi, CEO of Allarity Therapeutics. “We are very pleased to support Oncoheroes’ pediatric clinical development of our therapeutic candidates together with our DRP® companion diagnostics, in a true personalized cancer care approach.”

Dovitinib is a pan-tyrosine kinase inhibitor targeting fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR), vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) and other receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs). The drug was originally licensed by Allarity from Novartis and is currently under NDA submission to the U.S. FDA  for treatment of renal cell carcinoma.

“This agreement fits very well with the requirements set forth in the Research and Accelerate Cures and Equity (RACE) for Children Act, requiring companies to test adult oncology drugs in pediatric patients too, when there is a scientific rationale,” says Ricardo Garcia, Oncoheroes’ co-founder and CEO. “ Allarity’s drug candidate dovitinib, initially developed for renal cell carcinoma, might provide significant benefit to osteosarcoma pediatric patients and Oncoheroes is excited to make this happen”.

 The use of dovitinib in osteosarcoma patients is based on the results of preclinical studies suggesting a significant role of dovitinib in preventing metastases formation in the lungs. More in general, the potential of this class of multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitors for pediatric bone sarcomas, is suggested by several clinical studies demonstrating significant responses in subsets of patients.

Stenoparib is a unique, small molecule dual targeted inhibitor of Poly ADP-Ribose Polymerases (PARP 1 and 2) and telomerase maintenance enzymes (Tankyrase 1 and 2), currently in a Phase 2 clinical trial for advanced ovarian cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute (Boston, MA).

“Previous preclinical and clinical studies have demonstrated the potential of PARP inhibitors in pediatric oncology. We are excited to bring this class of molecules into Oncoheroes’ portfolio, remarks Cesare Spadoni, Oncoheroes’ co-founder and COO. “Stenoparib has the potential to be tested across many different pediatric cancers, including brain tumors. More importantly, for both licensed molecules, we would have a powerful tool in the DRP® companion diagnostic to select potential responders.”