MEI Pharma has acquired exclusive worldwide rights to the investigational drug candidate PWT143 from Pathway Therapeutics, for an undisclosed upfront payment with no future milestone or royalty obligations.
In preclinical studies, PWT143 has been found to be a potent and highly selective oral inhibitor of phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) delta, a molecular target that has been shown to play a critical role in the proliferation and survival of hematologic cancer cells. MEI Pharma anticipates filing an IND application for PWT143 by the end of 2014.
"PWT143 is an exciting drug candidate with evidence of improved preclinical activity compared to other PI3K delta inhibitors currently in development," said Daniel P. Gold, Ph.D., president and chief executive officer of MEI Pharma. "This acquisition represents another opportunity to expand our oncology drug development pipeline under favorable terms, while growing our footprint in hematologic cancers. We expect that it will take a minimal investment of resources to complete the required preclinical studies necessary for IND filing, which will enable us to create additional value while maintaining our focus on executing the Phase II clinical development plan for our lead drug candidate, Pracinostat."