Hana Biosciences acquired exclusive rights to develop and commercialize Menadione, a preclinical product candidate for the prevention and treatment of skin rash associated with the use of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) inhibitors in the treatment of certain cancers. Hana’s rights were obtained from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
The company reports that an estimated 75% of cancer patients receiving treatment with EGFR inhibitors develop significant skin toxicities presenting as acne-like rash on the face and upper body. Menadione, a small molecule phosphatase inhibitor, is an activator of EGFR signaling.
In vivo studies have suggested that topically applied menadione may restore EGFR signaling specifically in the skin of patients treated systemically with EGFR inhibitors. Currently prescribed EGFR inhibitors include Erbitux, Tarceva, and Vectibix.
Pursuant to the license agreement, Hana holds a worldwide, exclusive, royalty bearing license, with the right to grant sublicenses to pending patent applications relating to topical menadione.
The activity of Menadione was discovered in the laboratory of Roman Perez-Soler, M.D., chief of the division of oncology in the department of medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York.