Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CYCC) Shares Rise on Pre-Clinical Data Presentation

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc (NASDAQ:CYCC) shares were up 27.26% on Tuesday to $8.17 and an additional 4.04% in after-hours trading. Share prices have been trading in a 52-week range of $3.05 to $10.90. The company has a market cap of $34.73 million at 4.25 million shares outstanding.

Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals Inc is a company that operates in the field of cell cycle biology. It has generated various families of anticancer drugs that act on the cell cycle, including nucleoside analogs, cyclin dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitors, polo-like kinase (PLK) inhibitors and Aurora Kinase/vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (AK/VEGFR) inhibitors.

Its family of anticancer drugs that act on the cell cycle include sapacitabine, seliciclib and CYC065. Its lead candidate, sapacitabine, is an orally available nucleoside analog. A number of nucleoside drugs, such as gemcitabine and cytarabine, also known as Ara-C, both generic drugs, are in use as conventional chemotherapies. Seliciclib, its lead CDK inhibitor, is an oral inhibitor of CDK2/9 enzymes that are central to the process of cell division and cell cycle control. Its second-generation CDK inhibitor, CYC065, is an inhibitor of CDKs targeting CDK2/9 enzymes with utility in both hematological malignancies and solid tumors.

In a press release, Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals announced the presentation of preclinical data outlining the potential therapeutic utility of CYC140, which is a polo-like kinase (PLK) 1 inhibitor for the treatment of esophageal cancer and acute leukemia. These were presented during the American Academy of Cancer Research Annual Meeting in Washington, DC.

We believe these findings further validate the potential utility of CYC140 and its selection as a clinical candidate,” said Spiro Rombotis, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cyclacel Pharmaceuticals. “CYC140 is a potent and selective inhibitor of PLK1, an oncogenic regulator of cell division. These preclinical data suggest that CYC140 can be targeted against esophageal cancer and acute leukemia. In addition, the data demonstrate the potential for CYC140 to be used in synergistic combinations with other targeted agents, including EGFR inhibitors and PI3K pathway inhibitors, to enhance cancer cell death or growth suppression. CYC140 was discovered and developed in-house, drawing on our strong scientific experience in cell cycle biology. Based on these results and the conclusion of IND-directed development we plan to make an Investigational New Drug submission for CYC140.”

The study concluded that CYC140 is a selective PLK1 inhibitor which preferentially induces growth inhibition and cell death in malignant versus non-malignant cells. In esophageal cancer cell lines CYC140 combined synergistically with EGFR inhibitors or PI3K pathway inhibitors and can also be combined with approved cytotoxics such as cisplatin. CYC140 reduced phosphorylation of nucleophosmin, a PLK1 substrate, and caused accumulation of mitotic cells in vitro and in vivo. A grant of approximately $3.7 million from the U.K. Government’s Biomedical Catalyst has supported IND-directed development of CYC140.

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