Tosk has two additional drug discovery efforts underway. Consistent with its motto Proven Solutions ImprovedSM. both are undergoing lead optimization, the process by which a candidate compound is modified to make it into an effective drug.
The first research stage drug aims to block the genetic cancer gene known as kRAS, a high priority for the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The priority is based on the fact that world wide, some 40 percent of all cancer patients carry the oncogenic kRAS gene that renders EGFR-inhibitor cancer therapies, such as Erbitux®, ineffective. Mutated kRAS genes cause 90 percent of pancreatic, 45 percent of colon and 35 percent of lung cancers and a portion of most other cancers. Tosk’s goal is to make this important class of cancer therapies effective in patients who do not currently benefit. Such a drug also could be effective in treating kRAS positive cancers, such as pancreatic, colon, lung, and others.
A significant portion of Tosk’s kRAS development is being funded by the National Cancer Institute under a two-year, $2 million Phase II SIBR grant. The company is collaborating with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center on this program through Tosk’s Scientific Advisory Board member, Professor Jeff Thomas. Professor Thomas is an important member of the company’s scientific and medical advisory boards.
The second of these is a side-effect-reducing compound we call TK-88. TK-88 is intended to reduce or eliminate adverse effects caused by platinum-based drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin. These adverse effects can be permanent and include kidney damage, peripheral neuropathy, and hearing loss.