Cellceutix Corp. (CTIX-OTC: BB)
May 28, 2010 Issue
The Most Powerful Name In Corporate News and Information
Pharmaceutical Company Cellceutix Corp. Announces A Novel Drug For Treating Autism; Cellceutix Advances Towards Clinical Trials With Its Flagship Compound For Resistant Cancers
Ehrlich, CPA - Chief Financial Officer, Board of Directors
Cellceutix is a publicly traded company trading under the stock symbol CTIX.OB on the bulletin board listings. Cellceutix is located in Beverly, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston. The company's initial focus is the development and commercialization of its leading cancer compound, Kevetrin, which in vivo studies show tumor growth delay in cancer cell lines that are resistant to standard treatments. Recently it has announced that its compound to treat autism, KM-391, has shown significant results in animal studies. The Company presently has eight compounds in its portfolio. The senior management of Cellceutix is comprised of people with long experiences in researching, developing and marketing innovative pharmaceutical products.
Interview conducted by: Lynn Fosse, Senior Editor, CEOCFOinterviews.com, Published - May 28, 2010
Mr. Ehrlich: Cellceutix is a pharmaceutical company with multiple compounds. Our lead compound is named Kevetrin, and our target for this novel drug is resistant cancers. We have had encouraging results in the preclinical studies. We have also announced that for our autism drug we have achieved some milestones in animal studies. There is very little out there for autism drugs. If you were to Google ‘autism drug’, you would find that there isn’t any single drug to combat autism. All that are available are treatments for the symptoms of autism.
CEOCFO: What is Cellceutix technology?
Mr. Ehrlich: There are many companies trying to make a compound for colon cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer; however, our drug Kevetrin is unique, in that it works on drug resistant cancers. It has to do with the mechanism of action, which involves multipathways to target the tumor.
Kevetrin is a small molecule drug that is structurally different from anti-cancer agents currently on the market. A patent application has been filed for Kevetrin covering pharmaceutical use. Kevetrin has been extensively studied in animal cancer models, including several models with drug-resistant cell lines. It has consistently shown activity as good as or better than standard therapies. Kevetrin has shown excellent activity, indicating potential for development as a treatment for drug-resistant cancers. At the AACR (American Association of Cancer Research), our research “poster” on Kevetrin was selected as one of the “Frontiers” in cancer research. That is very significant, considering the American Association of Cancer Research is probably the leading drug association for cancer research in the world.
CEOCFO: Would that be for all cancers?
Right now we have tested Kevetrin against two drug resistant cell lines of
lung cancer, two drug resistant cell lines of breast cancer, and one drug
resistant cell line of colon cancer. We are addressing markets that total in
the many billions of dollars.
CEOCFO: What about your autism drug?
Mr. Ehrlich: With our autism drug, our chief scientist had come across an animal model for autism. It’s pretty complex. Think about it. How do you create autism in mice or rats? Approximately seven months ago he came across a research article and he matched it with a compound that he knew about. After testing, we were able to license the compound. That gave us a very big advantage because this is really cutting-edge.
CEOCFO: I would imagine the autism community is very excited about the potential!
Mr. Ehrlich: Following our recent press release, we’ve gotten many letters from parents telling us about their children, and that they longed for the day that they would hear this news. We began writing every one of them a response until it became overwhelming. We explained there is a long road map to get the drug in trials and approved. Even if everything goes according to plan, it does take a few years to get it approved by the FDA.
CEOCFO: Will you be developing this yourself or do you have some agreements in the works?
Mr. Ehrlich: We will be completing the development ourselves.
CEOCFO: What is the financial picture like at Cellcetix today?
Mr. Ehrlich: We are funding everything mostly from the officers. Right now at the end of the quarter we probably only had $50 thousand in cash, but the officers have already put in probably close to $1.5 million dollars. So we are committed to the success of the company and obviously believe in the potential of our compounds.
CEOCFO: What is the general timetable on your products?
Mr. Ehrlich: We are actually quite aggressive for a young company. To do all what we have accomplished in a relatively short timeframe is truly amazing. We expect to be ready to file our IND at the end of the summer, and perhaps commence human trials at the beginning or at some point during the 4th Quarter.
CEOCFO: That is fast!
Mr. Ehrlich: That is extremely fast! We are just now completing the toxicology studies, which is the last testing needed in order to complete our IND with the FDA.
CEOCFO: What is the competition in your approach in the cancer research area?
Mr. Ehrlich: In drug resistant cancer, essentially there is not any competition. We have been invited to pharma partnering conferences, I can’t name the companies, but we sat down face-to-face with some of world’s largest pharma companies. Everybody is watching us to see what is going to happen in the Kevetrin human trials. I can tell you right now, I don’t believe that there would be interest from big pharma in terms of a deal until we start human trials. However, that may not really be that far away; actually just a couple of months away.
CEOCFO: That is very exciting!
Mr. Ehrlich: It is a very exciting time, especially with all the publicity we have been getting about the autism drug. A number of newspapers have contacted us. Just this morning I completed an interview with a local Massachusetts newspaper. There is a lot of attention now being focused on the company.
CEOCFO: Is the investment community paying attention?
Mr. Ehrlich: We really haven’t targeted the investment community yet, because we are mostly funded from among the officers and we really do not engage in any PR or IR. However, we are starting to do this, we realize that is important, and there is nothing more important than shareholder value. As we start commencing into our clinical trials, reaching the investment community is going to be all the more important for our shareholders. They want to know what the value of the company is and the only way you really can measure value is looking at share price on the stock market.
CEOCFO: Why should potential investors look at Cellceutix today?
Mr. Ehrlich: We have a market cap of about $30 million. We have two major possible drugs that need to go through the FDA, however if we are successful in the clinical trials at some point we hope to get interest from big pharma. We are not dealing with just another cancer drug; we have indications that it is effective against drug-resistant cancers, which is a multibillion dollar market. Most cancer drugs currently out there are just another variation of existing cancer drugs, whether they be another platinum based drug or another Taxol. We, however, have a completely new and novel compound. Concerning our autism drug, this is a very large market and the estimates are that close to 1% of all children are autistic. So the market is quite substantial and we believe we have a lead on that market.
CEOCFO: Final thoughts, what should people remember most about Cellceutix?
important thing is that they have to know that we have proven management.
Our CEO worked at Pfizer for over twenty-five years. He rose to the rank of
general counsel of Pfizer's Pharma Division, which accounted for approximately
96% of the total revenue of the company. Our chief scientific officer, who
developed our cancer drug, was a group leader of cancer research at Eli
Lilly (NYSE: LLY). He was the key developer of two blockbuster cancer drugs
named Alimta and Gemzar, which generate billions of dollars in sales. So if
this was a horse race, these are the jockeys our shareholders would be
going with. I find it very interesting that our founders George Evans along
with Krishna Menon decided they would go to a small start-up company to
start their own. Obviously, they feel that they could do something different
We are not dealing with just another cancer drug; we have indications that it is effective against drug-resistant cancers, which is a multibillion dollar market. Most cancer drugs currently out there are just another variation of existing cancer drugs, whether they be another platinum based drug or another Taxol. We, however, have a completely new and novel compound. Concerning our autism drug, this is a very large market and the estimates are that close to 1% of all children are autistic. So the market is quite substantial and we believe we have a lead on that market. - Leo Ehrlich, CPA
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