Cantex Pharmaceuticals, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on developing novel treatments for inflammatory lung diseases and cancer.
Cantex’s core strategy is to modify and repurpose existing drugs and, by doing so, create novel, proprietary, safer and more effective therapeutics for the treatment of cancer and other life-threatening disorders. Through proprietary modifications of known and well-characterized drugs with proven safety profiles and a strong rationale for efficacy, Cantex is able to achieve a dramatically de-risked development pipeline with reduced time to regulatory approvals.
The experience, knowledge and creativity of Cantex’s management team permits us to identify and develop compounds with great therapeutic potential. For example, Cantex targets mechanisms by which either cancer or lung inflammatory disorders are resistant to available treatments, and for which current treatments have limited efficacy or serious side effects.
Through this focused development strategy, as well as through the vast experience, knowledge and creativity of our management team, in mid-2019 we successfully out-licensed our former lead product candidate, CX-01 (now known as DSTAT), through a transaction that provided an upfront payment of $30 million, 10 million shares of Chimerix, Inc. (NASDAQ: CMRX) common stock, up to $587.5 million in regulatory and commercial milestones and tiered royalties starting at 10%. In the context of the Joint Development Committee, Cantex collaborates with Chimerix in its DSTAT clinical development program in acute myeloid leukemia and acute lung injury resulting from COVID-19 infection.
We are enthusiastic about the prospects of our current lead product, Dicopp®, which is being developed to address the serious life-threatening or life-altering complications of COVID-19 infection and other inflammasome-driven illnesses as well as cancer. Of particular concern, the prevalence of “long-haulers” patients (patients with complications such as persistent debilitating and disabling myalgic encephalitis/chronic fatigue syndrome-like symptoms of fatigue, shortness of breath, muscle aches, and “brain fog”) resulting from COVID-19 infection is estimated at 2.5 million people in the U.S., or about 10% of infected U.S. COVID-19 patients.
Unfortunately, this “long-hauler” population will continue to rise in advance of vaccine availability. These disabling symptoms can persist for many months despite virus clearance, in many cases without any resolution. Moreover, there is no known treatment for “long-haulers” other than supportive care; vaccines and other antiviral measures are unlikely to have a treatment effect for “long haulers”. We believe that Dicopp®’s unique mechanism of action, which may block mechanisms critical to initiation and propagation of lung and systemic inflammation associated with COVID-19 infection and other lung diseases, may be able to assist in the fight against complications resulting from COVID-19 infection.
Cantex’s Executive Chairman, Neil Flanzraich, and I have strong records of developing successful products and companies. We believe that Cantex has the necessary expertise, talent, and determination to continue to develop medicines which significantly benefit patients with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.
Stephen G. Marcus, M.D.
Chief Executive Officer
Cantex Pharmaceuticals, Inc.