Cyclacel Pharma (CYCC) Announces Presentation of CYC065, CCT68127 Preclinical Data

September 6, 2016 7:05 AM EDT

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Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: CYCC) (Nasdaq: CYCCP) announced the presentation of preclinical data demonstrating that both Cyclacel’s CYC065, a clinical stage, second generation, cyclin-dependent kinase CDK2/9 inhibitor, and CCT68127, a preclinical stage CDK2/9 inhibitor, prolong survival in MYCN-addicted neuroblastoma models. The data were presented at the Childhood Cancer Meeting, September 5 – 7th in London, UK.

“This study adds to the growing evidence of the value of CDK inhibition as an approach to treating cancer. MYCN is an important therapeutic target in oncology and a major oncogenic driver of neuroblastoma, a childhood cancer. There are no approved drugs that act against MYCN or MYC proteins,” said Spiro Rombotis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cyclacel. “We are encouraged by the preclinical data, which extend and support earlier findings, showing that CYC065 and CCT68127 reduce MYCN transcription and protein levels and have antitumor activity in neuroblastoma models. Additionally, we have demonstrated in other preclinical studies, that our transcriptional CDK2/9 inhibitors target key molecular features of cancers with poor prognosis, such as MLL-r leukemias or MYC-driven lymphomas. Furthermore, evidence from early clinical trials show that CDK2/9 inhibitors can have a synergistic effect with other anticancer agents. We look forward to reporting data from our ongoing Phase 1 study of CYC065 in patients with solid tumors.”

In this preclinical study, an international group of researchers led by Prof. Louis Chesler from The Institute of Cancer Research, London, explored in vitro and in vivo the sensitivity of neuroblastoma cells to CYC065 and CCT68127. Neuroblastoma cells with MYCN amplification and overexpression were found to be particularly sensitive to both CDK2/9 inhibitors. The mechanism of action of CYC065 and CCT68127 included inhibition of MYCN transcription, downregulation of N-MYC protein, blocking neuroblastoma cell proliferation and induction of apoptosis. Treatment with either CYC065 or CCT68127 significantly reduced tumor burden and prolonged survival in several neuroblastoma models in vivo.


Poon E, Jamin Y, Walz S, Hakkert S, Kwok C, Hallsworth A, Thway K, Barker K, Sbirkov Y, Pickard L, Urban Z, Tardif N, Webber H, Box G, Valenti M, De Haven Brandon A, Petrie K, Ebus M, Molenaar J, Eccles S, Robinson SP, Zheleva D, Eilers M, Workman P, Chesler L. The small molecule CDK2 and CDK9 inhibitors CYC065 and CCT68127 are potent inhibitors of MYCN via transcriptional repression. Childhood Cancer Meeting 2016, September 5 – 7th, London, UK, Abs. 1-19.

About MYCN

The MYCN gene encodes a transcription factor that is expressed in fetal brain and neural crest and is critical for normal development of the brain and nerves. The MYCN oncogene is over-expressed in a number of different types of cancer, most notably neuroblastoma, and also rhabdomyosarcoma, medulloblastoma, astrocytoma, Wilms' tumor and small cell lung cancer. Amplification of the MYCN oncogene is the most common genomic alteration in aggressive neuroblastomas and is associated with poor clinical outcome. There are no approved drugs that directly target MYCN prompting the investigation of indirect approaches such as exploitation of a synthetic lethal relationship between MYCN amplification/overexpression and inhibition of CDK2.

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