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Biotech Drugmaker Actinium Pharmaceuticals Is Creating New Ways To Battle Cancer

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Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. was one of the sponsors for the Benzinga Global Small-Cap Conference that took place on December 8-9,

According to the American Cancer Society, an estimated 178,520 new cases of leukemia, lymphoma, and myeloma will be diagnosed this year, with 56,840 deaths expected from the diagnoses.

The most common treatments for fighting these diseases are radiation and chemotherapy. However, patients above 60 years old often have trouble tolerating intensive treatment and can experience chromosome changes in leukemia cells, affecting non-cancerous cells.

That’s where companies like Actinium Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: ATNM) come in. Actinium provides treatment options for cancer patients who can’t tolerate chemotherapy or radiation.

Radiotherapy and ARCs For Blood Cancers

Actinium has established itself as a leader in the targeted radiotherapy field, pursuing several hematology targets with late-stage clinical programs. 

One of the treatments they are currently developing involves Antibody Radiation-Conjugates, which combine antibodies’ targeting ability with radiation’s cell-killing ability. This novel approach may benefit patients with a broad range of hematologic malignancies, including Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), Myelodysplastic Syndrome, and Multiple Myeloma.

These Antibody Radiation-Conjugates—also known as ARCs—work by targeting radiotherapy directly to cancer cells, sparing normal healthy cells. This means less damage to the body, lower mortality rates, and better accessibility to patients who may be immunocompromised. 

This treatment, named Iomab-B, is currently in a pivotal Phase 3 clinical trial and has yielded promising clinical data in patients with relapsed and refractory AML.

Relapse and Refractory AML has the lowest five-year survival rate of any blood cancer, and Actinium is hoping its treatments can improve those odds.

Currently, the best treatment option for either disease is a bone marrow transplant. But patients need to have undergone chemotherapy to be eligible. Actinium’s Iomab-B, if approved, will provide another option. Their studies have demonstrated, so far, that patients receiving a therapeutic dose of Iomab-B have been able to move onto a Bone Marrow Transplant safely.

The company announced on Tuesday a successful interim analysis of its Pivotal Phase 3 trial for Iomab-B. According to the release, data from the first 75% of patients showed that “100% of patients receiving a therapeutic dose of Iomab-B proceeded to transplant and achieved engraftment compared to 16% of patients on the control arm.”

"We are encouraged by the DMC's recommendation to continue the SIERRA trial as planned and that there continue to be no safety concerns from the Iomab-B arm,” Dr. Mark Berger, Actinium's Chief Medical Officer, said in the release. “All of us at Actinium are intensely focused on completing the final portion of patient enrollment in the SIERRA trial.”

The company has a strong balance sheet with ~$48 million, enabling multiple clinical and corporate milestones for the next 2021, including topline SIERRA and several POC trial results.

The company is also collaborating for CAR-T to target and kill cancer cells using Iomab-ACT, a lower dose of Iomab-B to prepare patients for CAR-T. In fact, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has awarded Actinium a Small Business Technology Transfer grant to support a clinical collaboration with Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to study Iomab-ACT, Actinium's CD45-targeting Antibody Radio-Conjugate, for targeted conditioning to achieve lymphodepletion prior to administration of a CD19-targeted CAR T-cell therapy developed at MSK.

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Similar to Actinium, Novartis (NYSE: NVS) and Fusion Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: FUSN) have targeted radiotherapies. Whereas Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ: GILD) and Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE: BMY) are working on CAR-T.

For more information, please visit the company’s website.

 

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