MD Anderson and TransCode Therapeutics announce strategic alliance to advance RNA therapies for oncology

The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and TransCode Therapeutics, Inc. today announced a strategic alliance to advance TransCode’s pipeline of RNA-targeted oncology therapeutic and diagnostic candidates.

Through the alliance, TransCode and MD Anderson scientists will collaborate on preclinical studies to further validate TransCode’s therapeutic and diagnostic candidates and to expand the reach of TransCode’s discovery engine. The results of these studies will inform future clinical trials with these agents, including trials to be led at MD Anderson.

“RNA-based therapeutics offer exciting possibilities to treat cancer. We can now examine how regulatory RNAs affect signaling, both spatially and temporally, at the single-cell level in tumor cells, immune cells and stem cells — all critical for tumor progression, relapse and immune evasion,” said principal investigator Sendurai Mani, Ph.D., professor of Translational Molecular Pathology at MD Anderson. “Our goals in collaborating with TransCode are to gain a deeper understanding of RNA-targeted therapies and to bring innovative new treatment options to our patients.” 

The collaboration has the potential to inform multiple clinical programs in TransCode’s pipeline, starting with its lead therapeutic candidate, TTX-MC138, designed to treat multiple metastatic cancers. Future clinical trials will be designed and led by Vivek Subbiah, M.D., associate professor of Investigational Cancer Therapeutics at MD Anderson.

“This strategic alliance offers the opportunity to further unlock the potential of our therapeutic pipeline by combining the promise of our image capable delivery platform and discovery engine with the unique talent and resources found at MD Anderson,” said Zdravka Medarova, Ph.D., co-founder and chief technology officer of TransCode.

Prior to a Phase I clinical trial, TTX-MC138 is scheduled to enter a first-in-human Phase 0 clinical trial designed to demonstrate delivery of the therapeutic candidate to metastatic lesions in patients with advanced solid tumors.

“We are acutely aware of the expectations that come with a therapeutic approach that has the potential to induce durable regressions of metastatic disease. We are committed to taking every opportunity to fulfill the promise of RNA in cancer,” said Michael Dudley, co-founder and chief executive officer of TransCode.