Stella Therapeutics is developing novel chemical entities (ST drugs) that could strike GBM tumor cells at several levels: initially blocking the migration and proliferation of tumor cells, and then selectively killing them through the induction of programmed cell death (apoptosis) via a novel mechanism of action.
Evidence indicate that ∆9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the bioactive active ingredient produced by the plant cannabis, kills GBM cancer cells in vitro and in vivo, but the chemistry, pharmacology and mechanism of action of this very specific and unique therapeutic effect is not known. ST drugs are based on the rational modification and optimization of the therapeutic qualities carried by cannabinoid-based compounds. The Company’s preclinical results indicate that ST drugs exhibit clear potency in state-of-the-art GBM models that are derived from human patents and have a full genetic characterization. Additional preclinical results show that ST drugs spare healthy somatic cells (liver, neurons and cardiac cells) and have a greatly improved therapeutic index compared to standard of care chemotherapeutic.
Due to the remarkable potency and lack of overt toxicity measured in early testing of ST drugs, The Company believes that these unique small molecules will treat GBM tumors, induce fewer side effects compared to competing therapeutics, and be cost effective to produce.