Colon cancer prevention drug maker seeking $5 million ahead of pivotal trials

A company developing prevention drugs for people with elevated risk for colon cancer is raising $5 million ahead of two pivotal trials.

With its lead drug, Cancer Prevention Pharmaceuticals takes a two-pronged approach to preventing cancer by pairing CPP-1X/sul (Eflornithine) with the NSAID sulindac. Together these drugs interfere with two key pathways associated with cancer risk – polyamine synthesis and inflammation.

According to a recent SEC filing, the Tucson, Arizona, company is raising $5 million in equity. CEO Jeffrey Jacobs has said CPP would initiate two pivotal clinical studies this year – one for the drug combination in Familial Adenomas Polyposis, a known precursor of colon cancer, and the other in colon cancer survivors. He could not be reached for further comment.


In early clinical trials, the drug combination reduced recurrence of colon polyps most commonly associated with cancer by 92 percent, the company says.

CPP was founded in 2009 by cancer prevention researchers Dr. Frank Meyskens and Dr. Gene Gerner. Further down its pipeline are therapeutic approaches for prostate cancer, breast cancer and skin cancers that will be developed together with the National Cancer Institute, according to the company’s website.

The drugs currently approved for cancer prevention, namely tamoxifen and raolxifene (Evista), target breast cancer in older women or those at high risk. However, they’re associated with complications including blood clots and aren’t widely used. Exemestane (Aromasin) has also been studied in preventing breast cancer.

Colorectal cancer is the third most deadly form of cancer in the U.S., diagnosed in more than 142,000 people each year, according to the CDC.

CPC last completed a $2 million bridge financing round last year. It’s also received grants from the Therapeutic Discovery Project, the Arizona Innovation Challenge and the Arizona BioIndustry Association’s Fast Start Award.

[from flickr user ex-magician]

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