DALLAS, May 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. today announced that its lead development candidate, RTA 744, has received FDA clearance to begin clinical testing in patients with advanced brain cancers. Additionally, the company has announced a change in its name from Reata Discovery, Inc. to Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. to reflect the clinical status of its drug development programs.
"We are very pleased that RTA 744 has been approved for testing in the clinic," said Warren Huff, President and Chief Executive Officer of Reata. "This drug has a proven mechanism of action and could represent a significant new treatment option for patients with central nervous system cancers. Bringing this drug to the clinic is also an important milestone for Reata and provides proof of principle for our strategy of in-licensing promising preclinical candidates and advancing them rapidly through preclinical development."
About RTA 744
RTA 744 is a novel anthracycline derivative that crosses the blood-brain barrier and shows significant potential for the treatment of primary and metastatic brain cancers. Anthracyclines are one of the most broadly used and effective classes of cancer therapies; however, they are not used to treat brain cancers because current therapies do not cross the blood-brain barrier.
In the first quarter of 2005, Reata received clearance from the FDA to begin clinical testing of RTA 744. A Phase 1 clinical trial of RTA 744 in patients with advanced primary brain cancers is scheduled to begin at two leading neuro-oncology centers in the coming months. This trial will set a safe human dose for RTA 744, and will provide additional information on efficacy and side effects of the drug.
The initial indication for RTA 744 is in patients with advanced brain tumors who have failed previous therapies. This is an area of high unmet need, with few effective treatment options. Additionally, the company plans to extend the development program to include patients with central nervous system metastases, as well as combinations with other brain cancer therapies. Based on preclinical data demonstrating significant activity in drug-resistant cancer cells, additional studies may be initiated to explore the use of RTA 744 in patients with other recurrent or treatment-resistant cancers.
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a development-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on the development of novel treatments for cancer, inflammation, and neurodegenerative diseases. Founded in 2002, Reata is developing five distinct classes of cancer drugs licensed from leading academic institutions. The company's most advanced products, RTA 744 for primary brain cancer and RTA 401 (CDDO) for hematological cancers and solid tumors, are expected to enter clinical trials in mid-2005. Clinical testing of additional products, including RTA 402 for inflammation, is expected to begin in late 2005 or early 2006. Reata is also using a proprietary drug screening platform to identify potential breakthrough treatments for cancer and neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) and Alzheimer's disease.
For more information, please see http://www.reatapharma.com/ .
Reata Pharmaceuticals, Inc.