Cothera Acquires Exclusive Worldwide Rights to Zotiraciclib, a Novel Oral Multi-kinase Inhibitor from Adastra Pharmaceuticals

Beijing, San Francisco, September 7, 2021–Cothera Bioscience today announced that it has reached an agreement to acquire exclusive worldwide rights to zotiraciclib (ZTR/TG02) from Adastra Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Dr. Alex Wu, Co-founder and CEO of Cothera Bioscience, said: “This is a very important strategic deal for Cothera as it broadens our pipeline by adding a late stage, highly differentiated, first-in-class asset that targets Myc in the central nervous system, an important undruggable oncology target. The fact that Cothera won the bid to acquire the exclusive worldwide rights to ZTR demonstrates Adastra team’s confidence in Cothera’s expertise in translational oncology and our ability to execute well-designed clinical trials. This resulted from years of relationship between the two companies’ key team members, demonstrating the power of Cothera’s global network and deep industry connections.”

“ZTR’s unique ability to penetrate the blood-brain-barrier and encouraging efficacy and safety signal bring hope to patients suffering from high-grade glioma, a disease with very poor prognosis and in desperate need of novel treatment options,” said Vernon Jiang, Ph.D., Cothera’s Co-founder and Executive Vice President of R&D, “We have a very compelling case for pivotal registration-enabling clinical studies in recurrent HGG.  In addition, the clinical findings suggest that ZTR’s application may be expanded to other oncology indications, and efforts are underway to explore these opportunities through Cothera’s proprietary i-CR platform.   We are thankful for the strong foundation built by the Adastra team, and will continue the excellent relationship they have built with the global thought leaders and clinical study network to expeditiously bring ZTR to approval”.

About Cothera Bioscience, Inc.

Cothera Bioscience was formed to develop innovative targeted cancer therapies by the core founding members of CrownBio, a well-known Contract Research Organization specialized in translational oncology, together with veteran serial entrepreneur from the Silicon Valley. Cothera Bioscience developed a proprietary i-CR® technology platform, a powerful method for individualized drug screening and new drug development. The platform combines a high content screening system with conditional reprogramming of primary cultured tumor cells, which enables efficient and undifferentiated expansion of primary patient-derived tumor cells in vitro while preserving the tumor’s heterogeneity. Through collaboration with leading oncology medical centers, Cothera Bioscience has carried out prospective clinical trials and demonstrated that the i-CR® system can effectively predict the actual clinical response of a drug, with potential to significantly improve the clinical efficacy and success rate in anticancer drug development. (Transl Oncol. 2021 Jan;14(1):100935).

Leveraging the powerful translational science linking the i-CR® technology platform and clinical patient drug response, Cothera Bioscience has developed a number of innovative anticancer candidates in the field of synthetic lethality and immunotherapy. Cothera Bioscience has applied for multiple international patents covering the drug candidates as well as the i-CR® technology platform. Currently in Phase 2 studies, Cothera’s lead program PC-002 is a first-in-class small molecule drug targeting Myc- mutated tumors. With more than 50% of human cancers showing increased expression, Myc is regarded as one of the most important yet “undruggable” cancer targets. With a unique mechanism of action, PC-002 selectively induces Myc protein degradation and cell apoptosis in Myc-dependent tumors, potentially targeting multiple indications in cancers involving Myc dysregulation. The company’s other important pipeline product, CTB-02, targets colon cancer and non-small cell lung cancer with pan-KRAS mutations. CTB-02 is expected to enter Phase 1/2 clinical trial in Australia in 2021.