Theragnostics has signed a licence agreement with AstraZeneca for the intellectual property (IP) of selected radionuclide-labelled PARPi (Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase inhibitors).

The agreement provides Theragnostics with a license to freely operate selected radionuclide-labelled PARPi in the therapeutic field of certain selected radionuclide-labelled PARPi.

Theragnostics chief operating officer Gareth Smith said: “We believe that a radionuclide PARPi therapy will work independently of DNA mutations associated with heightened PARPi activity, such as BRCA1/BRCA2 and will avoid the development of treatment resistance. Therefore, the number of patients benefiting from PARPi therapy could significantly expand.”

Poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) enzymes are involved in normal cellular processes including DNA damage response, where the inhibition of PARP prevents cancer cells from responding to DNA damage.

PARP inhibitors are oncology drugs that block Poly (ADP-Ribose) Polymerase enzyme, which actively traps PARP to break double-strands of DNA that could result in death of cancer cells.

Thomas Reiner from Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York, US invented and developed rPARPi, and PARP inhibitors are rapidly emerging as anti-cancer agents in a range of tumour types.

Theragnostics develops molecular radiotherapy for imaging and treating cancers

Theragnostics said that its technology platform enables the development of molecular radiotherapy based on a PARPi for imaging and treating cancer.

The company intends to modify a PARPi drug molecule with a radioactive atom to create a radionuclide PARPi (rPARPi), used for either imaging PARP in a cancer patient for diagnostic use or radioactive isotope used in delivering a therapeutic dose of radiation into tumour cells.

In addition, it offers the capability to molecularly target the radiation to hit and kill the tumour cells simultaneously avoiding damage to healthy cells and related side effects.

Theragnostics chief executive officer Greg Mullen said: “Theragnostics’ strategy is to develop novel diagnostic imaging agents and targeted radionuclide therapies to improve treatment of a range of cancers.

“This agreement with AstraZeneca strengthens our IP estate and enables us to accelerate the development of our rPARPi therapy and diagnostic portfolio which has the potential to offer new and expanded treatment options to patients in a number of cancers.”