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Geron’s GRN163L Headed to Phase I Clinical Trials in Lung


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Geron’s GRN163L Headed to Phase I Clinical Trials in Lung Cancer Patients

Geron Corporation has published preclinical data on GRN163L indicating anti-tumor and anti-metastaticterm activity. Released in this month’s Cancer Research, the new study ascribes the anti-metastatic effects of GRN163L to its unique structure, and not it known human telomerase RNA (hTR) inhibition. By successive shortening of this oligonucleotide (specifically N3’ to P5’ Thio-Phosphoramidate), the authors show that cell adhesion in a lung cell line is reduced due the structural aspects of GRN163L and not is inhibitory effect on hTR. Also, in mice models of metastatic lung cancer, the researchers show a reduced tumor burden in mice treated with GRN163L upon inoculation with the cancer cells.

Previous studies with GRN163L has shown MDA-MB-435 breast cancer cells as well as the A549 lung cancer cells to have shortened telomeres, decreased invasiveness, and decreased cell adhesion with continual treatment of GRN163L for 6-8 weeks. With this previous and new preclinical data, Geron intends to initiate clinical trials in lung cancer patients this year to see if the cell line and model data can translate to the clinic. Of note, Geron also has stem cell based therapies entering clinical trials.

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