Intellikine Tests First Cancer Drug in Humans, Just Two Years After Opening Labs

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is composed of drugs like one from Novartis that are “pan PI3kinase” blockers that also inhibit mTOR enzymes that operate downstream; another class of rapamycin compounds and modified analogues that specifically shut down TORC1, but not TORC2; and a third class of drugs like Intellikine’s that specifically block both TORC1 and TORC2.

Intellikine is excited about moving ahead with INK128 because it showed impressive anti-tumor activity in cell-based lab tests and animal tests, and because of its specificity, it should be better tolerated than a less-specific drug, Wilson says. That opens the possibility that INK128 could be combined more easily with other treatments in future clinical trials, he says.

“You should really only inhibit what you have to in order to kill the tumor, no more,” Wilson says.

Intellikine will have plenty of hard work ahead on steering the right course for clinical trials with INK128, answering important questions like which tumor type it is most likely to succeed against. But even to be at this stage of the game is unusual for a company of Intellikine’s vintage. The company was only founded in September 2007, and the compound was introduced into clinical trials just 18 months after it was discovered, Wilson says. That kind of efficiency is certainly a big reason why Intellikine was able to raise the capital it did last summer.

“It’s been a very rapid time for us,” Wilson says.

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