Genprex Inc (NASDAQ: GNPX) is a stock that we’ve been keeping a close eye on lately. Considering that the company’s management will be ringing the closing bell today, we thought it would be fun to take a look at what the company does and why it’s so interesting to the CNA Finance team.
The Problem That GNPX Plans To Solve
Genprex is a clinical phase biotechnology company focused in the area of oncology. In particular, the company is initially looking to find a solution to the cancer that is the leading cause of cancer deaths around the world, lung cancer. Here are some statistics surrounding the condition that you may find alarming:
- 1.8 million new lung cancer cases are diagnosed each year.
- Lung cancer is the cause of death among 1.6 million patients each year.
- The United States is home to 225,000 new lung cancer cases per year.
- 150,000 Americans die each year as the result of lung cancer.
Dialing down a little deeper, GNPX is working on a product candidate, known as Oncoprex. Oncoprex is initially being tested with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) as a target. At the moment, there is a significant unmet medical need in this space. In fact, 80% of all lung cancer cases are NSCLC. Not to mention that when NSCLC strikes, it hits hard, with an expected five-year survival rate in Stage IV (metastatic) cases being around 1%.
Diving Into Oncoprex
As mentioned above, Genprex is working on a product known as Oncoprex, initially targeting the NSCLC indication. The active ingredient in the candidate is TUSC2, a tumor suppressor gene that’s sometimes referred to as FUS1. This particular gene is frequently inactivated in the early development of lung cancer. Unfortunately the loss of TUSC2 expression leads to significantly higher mortality rates in lung cancer patients.
In pre-clinical studies, GNPX collaborators showed that TUSC2, when introduced to tumors, mediates cell death in cancer cells, but not in normal cells. At the same time, this tumor supressor gene helps to limit the growth of the cancer tumor by down regulating tyrosine kinases, which includes epidermal growth factor receptors. Pre-clinical research has also demonstrated that Oncoprex might have the ability to enhance the body’s immune response to cancer, which means that the product could tie in well with the emerging science that is immunotherapy.
It’s Not Just In The Gene, It’s Also In The Delivery
The data seen out of Oncoprex is positive to date. However, The TUSC2 gene isn’t the only reason that this treatment may be a cornerstone in the fight against NSCLC. The way in which the gene is delivered is a key factor. TUSC2 genetic material that is used in Ocoprex is encapsulated in dotap cholesterol nanovesicles. The nanovesicles are known to be absorbed by cancer cells at a rate of between 10 and 25 times greater than normal, healthy cells. This limits the exposure of the treatment to healthy areas of the body and allows targeting of tumor cells, which can be beneficial when it comes to the fight against cancer tumors. To learn more about the delivery method, click here.
Clinical Results To Date Are Promising
So far, more than 50 late stage lung cancer patients have received Oncoprex in GNPX clinical trials. While this is a relatively small sample size, patients have seen anti-tumor activity as a result of Oncoprex treatment. The data is also favorable relative to other lung cancer drugs when looked at from a safety standpoint. All in all, the data surrounding the treatment in human patients seems to be promising thus far. To date, of the 39 patients allowed in the protocol for the Phase II portion of the trial, ten have been enrolled, and nine are evaluable for response under the trial protocol because they have received 2 or more cycles of treatment. Interim results indicate promise, showing that four of the patients had tumor regression and a single patient had a Complete Response under the RECIST criteria. Notably, the patient with the CR had the disappearance of the primary tumor, as well as lung, liver, and lymph node metastases.
The Opportunity Could Be Tremendous
Considering that GNPX shows anti-tumor activity with tolerable safety data, this could become an incredible opportunity. At the end of the day, this innovative take on the treatment of NSCLC could be what many of those diagnosed with lung cancer are waiting for. With such a vast market and strong safety and efficacy data to date, the opportunity here could be tremendous!
Disclaimer- CNA Finance is NOT an Investment Advisor. Our goal is to bring both news and under discovered stocks to the attention to investors to assist in making smart decisions in the market. CNA Finance is a for profit company. That profit is generated through three (3) different types of relationships. First and foremost, we work with pay per click and CPM advertisers on banners. We also have affiliate relationships with various companies where we earn a portion of the sales we refer. Finally, we may have relationships with some of the companies or IR firms that represent companies mentioned within our works in which we are compensated in cash and or stock for consulting, investor relations, and Press Release services. Invictus Resources paid CNA Finance $6,000 for research and writing services as well as other digital investor relations tasks provided to Genprex. Therefore, while we do everything in our power to provide true, well-researched, and well-thought out opinions, in some instances, a potential conflict of interest may exist. CNA Finance encourages all investors to seek professional advice before making any investment decision.
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