An Epigenetic Drug for Prostate Cancer Gets $26M to Enter Clinical Trials

CellCentric has raised a private round to fund the development of a first-in-class drug with potential to tackle treatment-resistant prostate cancer.

Cambridge-based CellCentric has raised $26M from Morningside Venture Investments. The company plans to use the cash to fund the development of an epigenetic cancer drug up to Phase 2b trials.

The drug in question, called CCS1477, has shown potential to help patients with late-stage prostate cancer that are resistant to second-line therapies of anti-androgen drugs such as Janssen’s Zytiga or Pfizer’s Xtandi.

CellCentric focuses on a distinct mechanism of action that blocks two proteins with epigenetic functions: the twin histone acetyltransferase proteins p300 and CBP. These proteins are involved in remodeling the 3D structure of DNA to regulate the expression of several genes involved in the late stages of prostate cancer.

The first clinical trial with this epigenetic drug is expected to start this summer at the Royal Mardsen Hospital in London and then extended to the US. CellCentric sees potential for the epigenetic drug to work in other types of cancer, especially those with mutations of the p300 and CBP proteins. After prostate cancer, blood, bladder and small cell lung cancer could be next.


Image: Prostate cancer cells under the microscope via Heiti Paves /Shutterstock

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