CARLSBAD, Calif., March 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Qualigen Therapeutics, Inc. (Nasdaq: QLGN), a diversified life sciences company focused on developing treatments for adult and pediatric cancers with potential for designation of orphan drug, while commercializing diagnostics, today announces the mutual extension of a research agreement with the University of Louisville Research Foundation (ULRF). The revised agreement expands the company’s collaboration with the research institute to develop its ongoing RAS-F platform currently at the discovery stage for solid tumors through the first quarter of 2023.
“This extension of our agreement with ULRF represents our continued commitment to develop our exciting RAS-F platform by leveraging the ongoing relationship with this prestigious research institution,” commented Michael Poirier, CEO of Qualigen. “We are both proud to be associated with the ULRF and confident that our future collaboration can serve to identify the lead candidate for studies enabling IND by the end of 2022.”
Geoffrey Clark, Ph.D., professor of pharmacology and toxicology at the University of Louisville (UofL), said, “Partnering with Qualigen Therapeutics has been very important to us. The expanded agreement gives our team the ability to generate and screen additional compounds, fully explore the mechanisms of the RAS pathway, and drive the program towards a lead clinical candidate.
Mutant RAS is the most common cancer oncogene, present in a quarter of all cancers. It acts as a “hub” that activates several effector pathways to promote cancer growth. Targeting downstream PI3K-AKT and RAF-MEK-ERK signaling pathways has been a promising therapeutic approach to date. However, approved treatment options are limited to cancers with specific RAS mutations, such as KRAS G12C. Exploration of additional effectors downstream of the RAS pathway, such as the RAL GTPase family, is under active research, as there are no FDA-approved pan-mutational RAS protein inhibitors.
Qualigen’s RAS-F program is a family of small molecules designed to block mutated RAS gene proteins from binding to their effector proteins. Under exclusive license from UofL, compounds from this discovery engine have been shown to inhibit a wide range of RAS mutations and to be active against the growth of multiple tumor models in vivo. Qualigen is evaluating promising compounds from this partnership in various RAS-induced advanced solid tumors such as pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancers.
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Qualigen Therapeutics, Inc. is a diversified life sciences company focused on developing cancer treatments and maintaining and expanding its FDA-cleared FastPack core.® System successfully used in diagnostics for over 20 years. Our investigational compound QN-302 is a small molecule selective transcriptional inhibitor with high binding affinity to G4s prevalent in cancer cells; such binding could, by stabilizing G4s against “unwinding”, help inhibit cancer cell proliferation. Our investigational compound QN-247 inhibits nucleolin, a key multifunctional regulatory protein that is overexpressed in cancer cells; QN-247 could thus be able to inhibit cell proliferation. QN-247 has shown promise in preclinical studies for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Qualigen’s investigational RAS-F family of small molecule inhibitors of RAS oncogene protein-protein interaction compounds are thought to inhibit or block the binding of proteins from mutated RAS genes to their effector proteins, leaving the mutated RAS proteins incapable of causing further harm. In theory, such a mechanism of action may be effective in treating around a quarter of all cancers, including some forms of pancreatic, colorectal and lung cancers. In addition to its oncology drug pipeline, Qualigen has a well-established diagnostics business that manufactures and distributes proprietary, highly accurate rapid blood test systems to medical practices and small hospitals for the management of prostate cancer and other diseases and health problems.
For more information about Qualigen Therapeutics, Inc., please visit www.qualigeninc.com.
This press release contains forward-looking statements by Qualigen that involve risks and uncertainties and reflect the judgment of the Company as of the date of this release. These statements include those relating to the Company’s outlook and strategy for the development of therapeutic drug candidates. Actual events or results may differ from the Company’s expectations. For example, there can be no assurance that the Company will successfully develop any drugs (including QN-302, QN-247 and RAS-F); that the preclinical development of the Company’s drugs (including QN-302, QN-247 and RAS-F, and the deprioritized infectious disease drug candidate QN-165) will be completed on schedule or will be successful; that any clinical trial will be approved to commence or will proceed as anticipated by any anticipated schedule, or at all; that all data from future clinical trials will be favorable or that such trials will confirm any improvement over other products or have no negative impacts; that any drug will receive required regulatory approvals (or Fast Track designation or orphan drug status) or be commercially successful; that patents will issue on patent applications owned and licensed by the Company; that these patents, if any, and the patents currently owned and licensed by the Company would prevent competition; that the Company will be able to source or earn sufficient working capital to complete the development, testing and launch of the Company’s potential therapeutic products (including QN-302, QN-247 and RAS-F, and QN-165); or that the Company will be able to maintain or expand market demand and/or market share for the Company’s diagnostic products. The Company’s stock price could be adversely affected if any of the events or trends contemplated by the forward-looking statements do not occur or are delayed or if any actual future event otherwise differs from expectations. Additional information regarding these and other risk factors affecting the Company’s business can be found in the Company’s previous filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including its most recent Form 10-K, all of which are available at www.sec.gov.
The Company disclaims any intention or obligation to update these forward-looking statements beyond the date of this press release, except as required by law. This warning is made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
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