SEATTLE, June 6, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- OnQuality Pharmaceuticals ("OnQuality"), a targeted oncology supportive therapy company developing innovative medications to address unmet needs in oncodermatology and oncogastroenterology (cancer therapy-induced toxicities occurring in the skin and gastrointestinal tract) and to improve the quality of life for patients receiving anticancer medications, announced today the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has cleared its Investigational New Drug (IND) application for its drug candidate, OQL051, for the prophylaxis of chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID).
CID is a common and often debilitating toxicity affecting up to 90% of patients receiving chemotherapy. CID can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, malnutrition, and infection, which may lead to hospitalization, cardiovascular compromise, and in some cases death. Prevention of moderate to severe CID often requires dose reduction. Treatment of CID may require interruption or even permanent discontinuation of chemotherapy, and potentially compromising the effectiveness of cancer therapy.
OQL051 – a first-in-disease, oral, gut-restricted CDK4/6 inhibitor – is designed to prevent the development of CID in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapies. The drug works by temporarily arresting the rapidly dividing intestinal mucosal cells in G1 phase. OQL051 locally targets cells of the digestive tract, transiently preventing cell division. This protects the intestinal lining from chemotherapy damage. Preclinical studies have demonstrated that OQL051, when given prior to chemotherapy, delays the onset and reduces the severity of CID without compromising the anti-tumor activity of chemotherapy agents.
"We are delighted to receive IND clearance for OQL051. This is a significant milestone for OnQuality and for patients suffering from CID," said Hong Tang, MD, FACP, Chief Medical Officer at OnQuality. "Prevention of CID is a major unmet medical need. We believe that OQL051 has the potential to make a meaningful difference in the lives of patients who suffer from cancer and the toxic effects of cancer treatment."
"Along with the OQL036 (for the prophylaxis of capecitabine-induced hand-food syndrome in onco-dermatology) clinical clearance by FDA in April this year, the newly cleared OQL051 allows us to advance our drug development in onco-gastroenterology, the second pillar of OnQuality pipeline," added by Jacob Song, Global Regulatory Lead and Director.
OnQuality plans to initiate a Phase I/II clinical trial in coming months to evaluate the safety in healthy volunteers, as well as safety and preliminary efficacy of the drug in cancer patients who plan to receive fluorouracil (5-FU) and irinotecan-based chemotherapy.
About Chemotherapy-Induced Diarrhea and OQL051
Chemotherapy-induced diarrhea (CID) is a common toxicity of chemotherapy, which plays a crucial role in the treatment of cancer. CID can range in severity from mild to severe, and can cause symptoms such as frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain, which may lead to dehydration, electrolyte imbalance, infection, and other potentially serious complications. There are currently no FDA-approved therapies for prevention of CID. The effectiveness of current symptom relief strategies is limited.
OQL051, a first-in-disease, oral, gut-restricted CDK4/6 inhibitor, is designed to prevent the development of CID in patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapies. The drug works by temporarily arresting the rapidly dividing intestinal mucosa cells in the G1 phase throughout chemotherapy administration. This protects the intestinal lining from chemotherapy damage. Preclinical studies demonstrated that OQL051, when given prior to chemotherapy, delayed the onset and reduced the severity of CID in animal models. Due to its low systemic exposure, the anti-tumor activity of chemotherapeutic agents was not affected.
About OnQuality Pharmaceuticals
OnQuality Pharmaceuticals is dedicated to pioneering the discovery and development of targeted supportive oncology therapies that address treatment-related toxicities at their molecular source. By treating on-target toxicities of the anti-cancer treatments, OnQuality's targeted supportive therapy candidates have the potential to reduce the severity and incidence of adverse events while sustaining the efficacy of the cancer treatments. OnQuality's targeted therapies, therefore, have the potential to improve both quality of life and outcomes for cancer patients.
OnQuality is leveraging its proprietary, AI-enabled CARE (Computation-Aided dRug-target-toxicology sEarch methodologies) platform to identify targets and drug candidates, to develop first-in-disease targeted supportive therapies addressing unmet medical needs in the emerging areas of oncodermatology and oncogastroenterology. This includes VEGFR inhibitor-induced Hand-Foot Skin Reaction, capecitabine-induced Hand-Foot Syndrome, epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitor-induced skin rash, chemotherapy-induced diarrhea and gastrointestinal side effects of immunotherapies. For more information about OnQuality Pharmaceuticals, please visit www.onqualityrx.com.
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