The Need for a First-in-Class Treatment for Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM)

<5% Survival

5-Year Survival Rate

11-13k Cases

Annual GBM incidence in U.S.

12-15 Months

Median Survival of GBM Patients with Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy

ST-36's Impact on the Treatment of GBM and Other Cancers

  • ST-36 is a targeted inhibitor of activating transcription factor 5 (ATF5)
  • ATF5 inhibition leads to direct tumor cell kill and potentially sensitizes cancer cells to radiation treatment as well
  • There is strong negative correlation between ATF5 expression and disease outcomes (i.e., greater ATF5 expression is associated with worse clinical outcomes)
  • There is significant data in several preclinical animal models of disease demonstrating ST-36 to be efficacious and well tolerated

Targeting an Oncogenic Factor

Product Development Stage
Discovery Preclinical Phase 1 Phase 2
ST-36 Glioblastoma Multiforme
Discovery Phase complete
Preclinical Phase in progress
Phase 1 Phase not started
Phase 2 Phase not started
ST-36 Neuroblastoma
Discovery Phase complete
Preclinical Phase in progress
Phase 1 Phase not started
Phase 2 Phase not started

Our initial program is designed to target an oncogenic factor, ATF5, which appears relevant to a number of different types of malignancies.

ST-36 is a peptide-based drug that acts as a dominant-negative form of the human transcription factor ATF5. A dominant negative protein is a protein with a mutation that adversely affects the function of the normal version of the protein within the same cell.

How ST-36 works

ST-36 works by inhibiting the actions of ATF5, which presumably promotes tumor cell death both by causing cells to undergo apoptosis (programmed cell death) and by making cells more sensitive to radiation treatments. The impact of ST-36 on radiation sensitivity provides a rationale for combining ST-36 with radiation-containing treatment regimens (such as in GBM).

Benefits of ST-36

Malignancies of the brain present many challenges to drug developers, including the need for systemically delivered drugs to cross the blood-brain barrier. ST-36 has been shown in animal studies to penetrate the blood-brain barrier and exert a strong anti-cancer effect. For this reason, ST-36 has the potential to be a first-in-class treatment for GBM.

Additional preclinical data indicates that:

  • ST-36 activity is tumor specific
  • ST-36 is active against human xenografts
  • ST-36 is a well-tolerated agent

Future indications for ST-36

ST-36 has the potential to treat additional tumor types. Upon achieving positive results in our early studies, we intend to pursue additional oncology indications for which there is already in vivo and/or in vitro data suggesting activity, including, but not limited too neuroblastoma, leukemia, lymphoma and pancreatic cancer, amongst others.