Pre-clinical studies have confirmed the potential of SCO-101 to revert gastric cancer cells’ resistance to chemotherapy, making the therapy more effective in clinical practice
Scandion Oncology (Scandion), a biotech company developing first-in-class medicines aimed at treating cancer which is resistant to current treatment options, has completed pre-clinical studies confirming that the company’s lead compound, SCO-101, could also potentially be an effective treatment for gastric cancer. SCO-101 is currently being clinically developed as a combination treatment for metastatic colorectal cancer and pancreatic cancer, presenting gastric cancer as an appealing new opportunity for Scandion.
It has been well documented in scientific literature that the protein ABCG2 is overexpressed in gastric cancer cells and that high ABCG2-expression is associated with poor clinical outcome (i.e., survival)1. Scandion’s pre-clinical studies have confirmed that ABCG2, which SCO-101 specifically inhibits, is overexpressed in gastric cancer cells, meaning that gastric cancer cells will be sensitive to SCO-101 treatment. SCO-101 works synergistically with chemotherapy in ABCG2-positive cells. This is similar to colorectal cancer in which we have seen impressive overall survival (OS) for patients when SCO-101 is combined with the chemotherapy FOLFIRI as per the data from part two of the CORIST trial, which was announced last month2.
As FOLFIRI is also used to treat gastric cancer, Scandion sees an opportunity to utilize the combination with SCO-101 in a similar way to how CORIST is designed, with comparable positive results expected. Similar to what was observed in colorectal cancer, we would expect SCO-101 to increase the levels of chemotherapy in the blood without increasing toxicity of the therapy. The extensive pre-clinical and clinical knowledge that Scandion has gained from their CORIST study puts them in an excellent position to conduct clinical testing in gastric cancer as well.
The pre-clinical exploration in gastric cancer has been conducted in collaboration with a world leading contract research organization as part of Scandion’s strategy to identify novel disease areas that SCO-101 has the potential to be a new and improved treatment. This was done based on the already significant pre-clinical and clinical data generated on SCO-101, with the aim of maximizing both the medical and commercial potential of SCO-101.
“We are pleased to have identified a new opportunity in gastric cancer and as such another potential shot on goal, which could further de-risk Scandion from a research and development perspective. We remain committed to explore scientifically warranted opportunities to exploit the full potential of SCO-101 across different types of cancers”, says Francois Martelet, M.D., Chief Executive Officer of Scandion.
Gastric cancer is another disease with significant unmet medical need, especially in recurrent/metastatic cases. The five-year survival rate is only 30-35% and gastric cancer is number four in absolute mortality, taking the lives of 770,000 patients every year. In 2022, the global market for the treatment of gastric cancer had a value of USD ~$2.4b. The market is expected to increase at a 15.8% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), reaching a value of USD ~$5.8b in 20283
1: Zhang et. al., 2013, World J Gastroenterol and Wang et. al., 2017, Oncotarget.
3: Evaluate Pharma
For further information please contact:
Johnny Stilou, CFO
Phone: +45 2960 3532
The information was provided by the contact person above for publication on December 15, 2023, at 08.30 CET.
Scandion Oncology (Scandion), the Cancer Drug Resistance Company, discovers and develops first-in-class medicines aimed at treating cancer which is resistant to current treatment options. We are at the forefront of this field, developing novel medicines that address cancer’s resistance against treatment. Our aim is to make existing cancer treatments work better and longer, thereby potentially prolonging and improving the life of patients who would otherwise have a high risk of dying from their cancer.
Globally, close to 10 million patients die every year from cancer and approximately 90 percent of all cancer related deaths are due to cancer drug resistance. Our medicines could be relevant in several different cancers. That makes both our medical and commercial potential significant.
Scandion is based in Copenhagen and its lead candidate, SCO-101, is currently being studied in clinical phase I and II trials. The company is listed on Nasdaq First North Growth Market Sweden (ticker: SCOL).
Västra Hamnen Corporate Finance is the Company's certified advisor on Nasdaq First North Growth Market.