STORM Therapeutics will use INDiGO, Evotec’s integrated, accelerated IND-enabling platform, to progress its STC-15 towards an IND application in 2021. STORM, a biotechnology company focused on the discovery and development of small molecule therapies modulating RNA epigenetics, has selected STC-15 as a first-in-class development candidate.
STORM discovered STC-15, an orally bioavailable, small molecule inhibitor of the enzyme METTL3 targeting modulation of RNA epigenetics, an entirely new mechanism of action, to treat acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) and other solid and haematological cancers with the support from Evotec’s pre-clinical drug discovery engine.
The company has demonstrated in vivo proof of concept activity of the first RNA methyltransferase inhibitor in relevant animal models for myeloid and solid tumours. METTL3 is one of two programmes from the STORM platform that have already shown in vivo activity.
Dr Craig Johnstone, Chief Operating Officer of Evotec, commented: “The relationship with STORM goes from strength to strength and is a great example of Evotec’s ability to support the exploration of novel and exciting biology to maximise innovation, but also execute efficiently with rapid and seamless integration from target through to IND.”
Dr Keith Blundy, Chief Executive Officer of STORM Therapeutics, added: “STC 15 was identified with support from Evotec and is a highly potent and selective METTL3 inhibitor that is effective in leukaemia cells refractory to chemotherapy treatment. This patient population will be incorporated into the initial clinical trials aiming to accelerate clinical proof of concept for patients with limited other options in addition to exploring combinations with standard of care. STORM’s vision is to become the world’s first company to deliver a disease-modifying agent that works by targeting RNA-modulating enzymes. Evotec has enabled us to rapidly and successfully progress our work resulting in a first-in-class development candidate, with more to follow.”
Image credit: Gunther Valda