Testing New Drug to Help Mesothelioma Chemo Work Better: TRC102

A new mesothelioma drug is being studied to see how effective it is at counteracting your natural resistance to chemotherapy.

The drug is called methoxyamine. It’s a novel, clinical-stage small molecule inhibitor of the DNA base excision repair pathway.

This pathway causes resistance to alkylating and antimetabolite chemotherapeutics — agents such as pemetrexed and cisplatin.

The pharmaceutical company conducting the study of methoxyamine is called Tracon. It’s located in San Diego, California. Tracon has given its version of methoxyamine a brand name of sorts —TRC102.

Tracon is not alone in studying TRC102. Allied with the company in this endeavor are the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and Case Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Together they are engaged in clinical trials of TRC102. In late October, Tracon announced that it was initiating a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate TRC102 paired with pemetrexed.

This trial is open now. Enrollment of mesothelioma patients is continuing.

National Cancer Institute Support TRC102

Notably, Tracon is conducting this Phase 2 mesothelioma trial in tandem with a Phase 1b study of TRC102 combined with pemetrexed and cisplatin. This second study is evaluating the trio against refractory solid tumors.

The company indicated it has plans to study TRC102 in combination with a variety of other chemotherapeutics as well. However, not all of these will target mesothelioma.

The CEO of Tracon is Charles Theuer, M.D., Ph.D. He said that TRC102 has shown promise in all its Phase 1 trials.

“Previously completed clinical trials sponsored by Tracon, Case Cancer Center and the NCI have demonstrated that TRC102 can be safely combined with three separate chemotherapeutics,” Theuer said.

The three chemotherapy agents to which he refers are pemetrexed, fludarabine and temozolomide. The latter is used in the treatment of patients suffering from glioblastoma.

Theuer said that the NCI’s decision to support the Phase 2 testing of TRC102 was a most encouraging development.

Tracon reports that the clinical trial is an open-label, nonrandomized study. The mesothelioma patients who are being enrolled have received chemotherapy at least once before.

The Phase 2 TRC102-pemetrexed trial and the Phase 1b TRC102-pemetrexed-cisplatin study will enroll a combined total of 58 patients.

The company invites you to inquire about this trial to see if you might be an appropriate enrollment candidate. Details can be found at https://clinicaltrials.gov/. Use trial identifier NCT02535312 when you search.

Methoxyamine Among Drugs Used in Cancer Treatment

Methoxyamine is also known by the scientific name O-methylhydroxylamine. If you want to get really technical about it, its chemical formulation is CH3ONH2.

Methoxyamine is a water-soluble compound. It’s also soluble in polar organic solvents. Methoxyamine’s natural state is that of a clear liquid.

The compound is related to hydroxylamine. The difference is that a methyl molecule takes the place of the hydroxyl molecule.

Tracon has been working with methoxyamine for some time now. However, this is not the only therapeutic in the company’s development pipeline.

There is also TRC105, a novel, clinical stage antibody to endoglin. Endoglin is a protein over-expressed on endothelial cells.

It also happens to be essential for angiogenesis, the process by which blood vessels are formed. Inhibiting angiogenesis is one avenue of preventing tumors from growing.

TRC105 is currently in clinical trials to evaluate it in combination with VEGF inhibitor agents. The targets are soft tissue sarcoma, renal cell carcinoma, hepatocellular carcinoma and colorectal cancer.