OncLive: What is the mechanism of action of SM-88? What makes it a novel agent in pancreatic cancer?
Ocean: SM-88 is a novel compound that’s in the group of cancer metabolism–based therapies. The exact mechanism of action involves many different factors and is currently being elucidated. Preclinical work examining the agent’s mechanism of action have been published.
Basically, this is a tyrosine analogue, an amino acid, that gets into the cell and disrupts protein synthesis. The agent also has functions that act as a way to increase oxidative stress within the cell, meaning there is more formation of reactive oxygen species, which then kill the cancer cell. We’ve also seen data demonstrating that SM-88 can reduce endoplasmic reticulum stress; cancer cells increase this stress reaction and if we reduce it with medicines, then we can more effectively kill the cancer cell.
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