Cellceutix Corp., a developer of small compounds for the treatment of cancer, autism and inflammatory diseases, issued a press release today commenting on the status of the industry in pursuing compounds addressing the core issues for developmental diseases. Cellceutix is encouraged by the recent results of a clinical study conducted by Novartis AG (NYSE: NVS). The New York Times published an article on April 29th to showcase the results from a small, overseas study for the treatment of fragile X syndrome by the Switzerland-based pharmaceutical giant. Fragile X, a genetic disorder characterized by changes in part of the X chromosome, is believed by Novartis to be a key aspect in attacking developmental disorders such as autism and mental retardation. While the data collected was only from a small number of human subjects, it is an extremely positive for companies working on compounds to address these diseases at their root cause, rather than developing another pharmaceutical to treat the symptoms that arise from them.
Cellceutix acquired the rights to KM-391, their compound for the treatment of autism, last year and has been rapidly developing the compound since. Dr. Krishna Menon, Chief Scientific Officer of Cellceutix, has already defined a reliable animal model with Wistar rat pups, and the Cellceutix research team has seen very encouraging pre-clinical testing on the model. The team has chemically altered the brains of the rat pups to characteristics observed in an autistic human brain with regards to brain plasticity and serotonin levels, developed control groups and administered the compound at varied levels to the groups. The recorded results have been extremely encouraging. Details of the data from the studies are available at the Cellceutix website www.cellceutix.com.
The Novartis study, combined with the fact that Pfizer has recently released that they are conducting research on core issues of genetic-based disorders, puts Cellceutix in a prime position in the industry as they are one of very few companies which possess such a valuable commodity. When acquiring KM-391, Cellceutix management knew that they were on to something special with a completely unique approach for the treatment of autism. Leo Ehrlich, Chief Financial Officer of Cellceutix commented, “We are developing a novel compound for a disorder which has few treatment options. In an area that people were once skeptical about pharmaceutical advancements being possible, it is encouraging to see other companies showing significant interest.”