Advanced Cancer Therapeutics Enters Phase 1 Human Clinical Trials With First-in-Class Anti-Cancer Drug Candidate

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LOUISVILLE, Ky., June 4, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT), a privately held company dedicated to bringing new anti-cancer therapies to market, announced today that it has begun clinical trials of PFK-158, a small molecule therapeutic candidate that inactivates a novel cancer metabolism target never before examined in human clinical trials. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Phase 1 dose escalation study is evaluating the safety, tolerability and anti-tumor activity of PFK-158 in cancer patients with solid tumors such as melanoma, lung, colon, breast and pancreatic cancer.

PFK-158 is the first 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) inhibitor to undergo clinical trial testing in cancer patients. The target, PFKFB3, is activated by oncogenes and the low oxygen state in cancers, stimulates glucose metabolism and is required for the growth of cancer cells as tumors in mice. PFK-158, which has been licensed by ACT from the James Graham Brown Cancer Center at the University of Louisville, inhibits the substrate binding domain of PFKFB3 causing a marked reduction in the glucose uptake and growth of multiple cancer types in mice.

PFK-158 human clinical trials began recruiting patients in May 2014 with the first clinical trial site located at the James Graham Brown Cancer Center, a part of KentuckyOne Health. Within weeks of opening the first clinical trial site, ACT was able to open the second clinical trial site, Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C., also in May 2014.

According to Dr. Jason A. Chesney, Deputy Director of the Brown Cancer Center and a global thought leader and researcher in cancer metabolism, "PFK-158 is not only a first-in-class cancer drug but also the first to target glucose metabolism by inhibiting PFKFB3. This unique mechanism of action has resulted in efficacy against a broad spectrum of human cancers caused by common mutations as well as synergy with targeted agents that are FDA approved for several cancer types."

Dr. Chesney added, "as a researcher, it is incredibly rewarding to witness your group's studies move into clinical trials and potentially save the lives of cancer patients."

"This is a significant milestone for ACT and it supports our dedication to develop significant treatment advancements for cancer patients with first-in-class, potential breakthrough therapeutics like PFK-158," stated Randall B. Riggs, President & CEO of ACT.

About Advanced Cancer Therapeutics (ACT):

ACT is a privately held company dedicated to advancing novel therapeutics for the prevention and treatment of cancer. ACT has successfully established a unique and innovative business model with the University of Louisville's James Graham Brown Cancer Center (Brown Cancer Center) whereby ACT is able to obtain exclusive worldwide licenses to novel cancer therapeutics discovered at Brown Cancer Center under preset business terms. ACT then fast-tracks these discoveries, including the selection process for partnership, commercialization and manufacture, to the pharmaceutical industry, and ultimately to the patients who need them. Led by Dr. Donald M. Miller, the Brown Cancer Center employs more than 50 scientists focused on the discovery and advancement of breakthrough cancer therapeutics for patients suffering from cancer. For more information, please visit

CONTACT: Randall B. Riggs, President & CEO Advanced Cancer Therapeutics Phone: (502) 345-8911 Email:

Source: Advanced Cancer Therapeutics