Dracen Pharmaceuticals Announces the Initiation of First-in-human Study of DRP-104 in Adult Patients With Advanced Solid Tumors

DRP-104, the Company’s novel broad-acting glutamine antagonist, directly targets tumor metabolism and induces profound anti-tumor immune responses. Extensive Pre-clinical profiling supports single agent and combination development.

Dracen Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical stage privately-funded biotech company developing anti-cancer drugs, today announced the initiation of its first-in-human Phase 1/2a clinical trial of DRP-104.

“Tumors are constantly growing and changing requiring novel therapeutic approaches. Our goal at Dracen is to create a therapeutic that can metabolically reprogram cancer cells,” said Thomas Estok, chief executive officer of Dracen Pharmaceuticals. “DRP-104 is a novel broad-acting glutamine antagonist that has been shown to directly target tumor metabolism and induce a strong anti-tumor response. In addition, DRP-104 leads to profound remodeling of the tumor microenvironment leading to stimulation of both the innate as well as the adaptive immune systems, resulting in a synergy with immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

DRP-104 has demonstrated broad antitumor activity in both engineered and patient-derived in vivo models across a wide spectrum of malignancies, both as a single agent and in combination with immune checkpoint inhibitors.

“The initiation of this study allows us to explore the profile and promise of immuno-metabolism approaches like DRP-104 in a clinical setting,” said Margaret Dugan, MD, chief medical officer. “We are grateful to the investigators and their clinical colleagues, all participating patients and their families and care givers who are making it possible for us to create a potential new treatment paradigm aimed at treating an unmet medical need for a wide-range of solid tumors.”

The primary outcome of this study is to determine the safety and recommended Phase 2 Dose of DRP-104 as a single agent and in combination with checkpoint inhibitors. Please refer to www.clinicaltrials.gov (Identifier: NCT04471415) for additional clinical trial information.

About DRP-104
Our lead glutamine antagonist, DRP-104, is currently in early stage clinical development. The mechanisms of action and subsequent effects of DRP-104 include: (1) direct inhibition of tumor cell addiction to glutamine leading to substantial single agent activity and tumor regression; (2) broad metabolic remodeling of the tumor microenvironment leading to enhanced anti-tumor immune activity; (3) stimulation of T effector, NK and NKT cells; and, (4) inhibition of immunosuppressive myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) and macrophage cells, leading to greater long-term durable responses and survival.

About Dracen Pharmaceuticals
Dracen Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a privately held biotech company developing proprietary anti-cancer drugs that target immuno-metabolism. Dracen’s investors include Deerfield Management; Osage University Partners; and The Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague). Dracen is headquartered in New York, NY with research operations in San Diego, CA.