TASIN in Colorectal Cancer

We have discovered a new class of compounds, TASINs, that specifically kill cancer cells containing the mutated or truncated APC gene without toxicity to normal cells.

This discovery could be key to catching colorectal cancer (CRC) at its earliest stage, since more than 80% of the ~1.8 million annual CRC cases first present with a mutation to the adenomatous polyposis coli (APC) gene.

TASINs Cytotoxicity Overview:

TASIN disrupts intracellular cholesterol, which is critical for mutant-APC cancer cell survival.

1

TASIN binds to EBP, significantly reducing cholesterol levels within truncated APC cancer cells.

2

Cancer cells become stressed. Cellular defenses are disrupted. (ER stress observed: JNK activation, increase in ROS, inhibition of Akt “pro-survival” cell signaling.)

3

End Result: Colorectal cancer cell death (apoptosis)
  • Inhibition of EBP leads to a reduction of cholesterol levels within the cell resulting in ER stress and ultimately CRC cell death.
  • TASINs are orally bioavailable and have demonstrated to significantly reduce tumor size in preclinical APCtrunc mouse models.

Genetic Mouse Model:

TASIN-1 results in decreased number and size of polyps in the CPC;Apc genetic mouse model.

We’ve already seen outstanding activity in animal models leveraging synthetic lethality, without toxicity. 

TASIN in Neurology - Demyelinating Diseases

Overview:

  • Myelin is an insulating, fatty sheath that protects nerve cells and speeds conduction of nerve impulses.  
  • Loss of myelin is the foundation of many neurological diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Regeneration of myelin is mediated by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) which are stem cells in the central nervous system (CNS).
  • Significant research underway to find new drugs that promote remyelination, but no such agents are on the market today.
 
 

TASIN Shows Promise in Demyelinating Disease:

 

  • TASINs  inhibition of EBP leads to accumulation of certain sterol intermediates in the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway, which then promotes oligodendrocyte formation.
  • An experiment with oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs) treated for 72 hours with DMSO only, no drug (Top Right) indicates the lack of Oligodendrocyte myelin basic protein (MBP).
  • The same experiment performed with TASIN-1 (Bottom Right) clearly shows the presence oligodendrocyte MBP+ via the abundance of immunostaining (green).

TASIN Oncology Program

Colorectal Cancer

  • Potent, first-in-class small molecules licensed from University of Texas Southwestern – Medical Center.
  • Selective for Truncated APC, an important and highly prevalent marker of colorectal cancer.
  • Strong preclinical POC; currently selecting lead molecule.
  • MOA via inhibition of EBP, intermediate enzyme in cholesterol biosynthesis.
  • Represents a unique and large commercial opportunity.

TASIN Neurology Program

Neurology

  • Growing recognition of emopamil binding protein (EBP) as an important target in demyelinating diseases, such as multiple sclerosis. 
  • Clear interest from Big Pharma companies
  • A publication in Nature showed that Barricade’s compounds restored myelin in vitro. 
  • Animal proof-of-concept study is in progress, data are expected early Q4 2020.
  • Barricade intends to rapidly advance a second-generation TASIN compound for this high-value indication.

Moving Forward:

  • Our lead TASINs are protected by global patents, (composition of matter and method of use).
  • Barricade plans to submit its first IND during end-2021 and initiate a Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced CRC.
  • Human POC in colorectal cancer is projected in 2022.
  • Concurrently, we will advance a second-generation TASIN molecule for neurology applications to IND in 2021, with potential for rapid human POC.