Rodney Varner, CEO of Genprex Inc (NASDAQ:GNPX) expects 2019 to be a landmark year for the cancer-focused gene therapy company as it moves ahead with advancing Oncoprex, its gene therapy for non-small cell lung cancer.
In a note to investors, Varner outlined the Texas company's achievements in 2018 and forecast that further milestones would be hit in the coming months.
High on the company’s list of accomplishments from 2018 was its move to enter into a research agreement with the prominent cancer center MD Anderson for the development of a cancer treatment using TUSC2, the active agent in its flagship product Oncoprex in combination with immunotherapies.
It also forged a pact with Aldevron, a top contract manufacturing group, to supply TUSC2 (tumor suppressor candidate 2) plasmid DNA for use in Genprex’s clinical development program evaluating Oncoprex for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
Investors applauded its litany of milestones, sending Genprex shares up 4.2% to $1.62 in morning trade.
READ: How Genprex took an abandoned pipeline drug and turned it into Oncoprex, an innovative treatment for non-small cell lung cancer
“Over the past year, we made great progress in advancing the development of our gene therapy platform, including Oncoprex immunogene therapy for non-small cell lung cancer,” noted Varner in a statement. “I’m pleased with our progress and am excited to continue development of our gene therapies for cancer into 2019 and beyond.”
In other news from 2018, it completed its initial public offering and listing on the Nasdaq as well as a $10 million private placement.
The company, which was first based in Austin, Texas, also recently set up offices in Cambridge, Massachusetts where Dr. Julien Pham, chief operating officer, has been handed responsibility for overseeing the clinical development of Oncoprex.
Genprex’s research and development expenses came to $971,427 at the close of last December, compared with $289,934 at the end of 2017, as it improved its clinical strategies, expanded its research and refined its manufacturing. Genprex also reported a cash position of $8.6 million as of last December.
Genprex is a clinical-stage gene therapy company, which boasts Oncoprex, a flagship treatment for non-small cell lung cancer. Oncoprex works partly by interrupting the cell signaling pathways that prompt cancer cells to multiply as well as controlling the immune response against cancer cells.
Contact Ellen Kelleher at [email protected]