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Start-Up Spotlight: Clarity Pharmaceuticals
Posted on December 30th, 2016 by Betsy Davis in Pharma R&D
Exciting things are happening Down Under, where Sydney-based Clarity Pharmaceuticals is doing work that could be particularly effective in the treatment of childhood cancer. Managing Director of Clarity, talks about the company’s research.
In brief, what does the company do?
Clarity Pharmaceuticals is a personalized medicine company focused on the treatment of serious disease. The company is a leader in innovative radiopharmaceutical technology, developing targeted therapies, and assisting in the drug development pipeline of novel therapies for companies globally.
Describe Clarity’s background and what it aims to achieve.
Clarity was established in 2010 as a private, Sydney-based life sciences company. Its platform technology allows biopharmaceuticals to be radiolabeled and visualized using PET imaging. The imaging data generated provides powerful information on targeting, clearance, and biodistribution of the product, which aids in early drug development. This de-risks the development process and allows making early decisions regarding biopharmaceutical drug candidates. Clarity offers this capability as a service to biopharmaceutical developers worldwide while utilizing the expertise to develop its own clinical pipeline.
Clarity utilizes its strong imaging capability and proprietary technology to develop radiopharmaceutical-based targeted therapeutics. Its in-house drug development program is focused on developing novel targeted therapeutics in oncology using a theranostic approach. Clarity’s lead compound, SARTATE, is entering a Phase 1/2a in neuroendocrine tumor patients. Clarity will also commence a Phase 0 imaging trial of SARTATE in neuroblastoma, an aggressive childhood cancer. In other serious diseases, Clarity is developing imaging based companion diagnostics in areas including cardiovascular disease and fibrosis.
Why is this research so important?
Clarity’s lead candidate, SARTATE, is a novel radiopharmaceutical compound for treating cancer. It employs personalized medicine to better diagnose and treat cancers by using Clarity’s proprietary SAR Technology. SARTATE has the ability to deliver isotopes of copper directly to cancers. It utilizes Copper-64 and PET imaging to diagnose where the drug goes in the body and confirm targeting. For therapy, it uses Copper-67, which kills cancer in a localized manner and has more favorable characteristics than alternative isotopes on the market, making it safer and more effective to use.
By leveraging this novel theranostic approach, SARTATE allows the determination of dose during the diagnostic stage with Copper-64 and delivers the right amount of radiation to the tumor for therapy with Copper-67. SARTATE targets the somatostatin receptor type 2 (SSTR2), which is highly expressed in the large majority of neuro-endocrine tumors (NETs), neuroblastoma as well as other children’s cancers.
Neuroblastoma is a childhood cancer affecting 10.2 per million children under 15 years of age in the U.S. Current therapies for neuroblastoma lead to a number of immediate and long-term side-effects, including heart or lung problems, slowed growth and development, changes in sexual development and infertility, and changes in intellectual function and development of secondary cancers, such as leukemia. The potential to personalize dose makes SARTATE extremely promising for use in children. By tailoring dose and delivering the optimal amount of radiation to the tumor site, SARTATE increases the likelihood of treatment efficacy, minimizes the side effects of the therapy, and thus improves patients’ quality of life.
What will the next steps for the company be?
Following the first-in-human study, Clarity has commenced SARTATE’s development as a cancer therapy for NET patients in a Phase 2a efficacy trial using Copper-64 and Copper-67 pairing. The same product is also being developed for the treatment of neuroblastoma and other children’s cancers. Clarity will leverage these studies to demonstrate the commercial potential of SARTATE as a product and create new opportunities for the platform SAR Technology to be used for other cancers.
Why does this matter now?
Modern day medicine is in a war on cancer, so this analogy is appropriate: chemotherapy is like sending in a nuclear bomb – it kills everything, both good and bad cells. SARTATE is like sending in a SWAT team. It kills cancer in a localized manner, minimizes side effects, and increases efficacy.
Are you currently looking for partners or investment?
Clarity is looking for venture capital and strategic investors, such as pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical, and biotechnology companies, to develop its clinical pipeline and expand its contract research business.
Here is what the people at Clarity Pharmaceuticals are saying about their company’s work:
Dr. Matt Harris, Clarity’s Managing Director and Founder: “We believe in personalized medicine and the development of new therapies that are more effective and have less side effects. At Clarity, we recognized that radiopharmaceuticals have this potential and are keen to continue exploring this in collaboration with thought leaders in the field.”
Dr. Alan Taylor, Clarity’s Executive Chairman: “SARTATE’s successful development to date is a great example of how collaboration between academia and business improves Australian innovation. By working together with the brightest scientists and clinicians in the field, we are hoping to translate their research into internationally successful treatments that will ultimately help save lives and reduce treatment side effects.”.
To get in contact with Matt Harris, or to follow Clarity Pharmaceuticals:
All opinions shared in this post are the author’s own.
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