Moleculin Announces Beginning of Preclinical Development of New Approach to Pancreatic Cancer

Inhibitor of glycolysis provides opportunity to attack the metabolism of tumors


Houston, TX – November 13, 2019 – Moleculin Biotech, Inc., (Nasdaq: MBRX) (“Moleculin” or the “Company”), a clinical stage pharmaceutical company with a broad portfolio of drug candidates targeting highly resistant tumors, announced it has begun preclinical testing of its drug candidate, WP1122, which it believes may present a new approach to treating highly glycolytic tumors like pancreatic cancer and glioblastoma.


“WP1122 represents an opportunity to attack the metabolism of cancer by exploiting the Warburg principle, which explains that some tumors are highly dependent on glycolysis, a specific metabolism of glucose, for growth and survival,” commented Walter Klemp, Moleculin’s Chairman and CEO.  “What this means in practice is that tumors are vulnerable by being highly dependent on glucose availability. Cancer cells often  to consume up to 18 times as much glucose as their healthy  normal cells neighbors, suggesting that we may be able to starve tumors by supplying them with glucose decoys that would inhibit glucose-based energy production.  However, until the creation of WP1122, glucose decoys like 2-deoxy-D-glucose (‘2-DG’) lacked the drug-like properties to be effective, primarily because of rapid metabolism and a very short circulation time in the body, which then limits desired organ and tumor uptake.”


Dr. Don Picker, Chief Science Officer for Moleculin, added: “WP1122 is a prodrug of 2-DG that has been shown in animal models to significantly increase the half-life of 2-DG and allows for increased uptake to targeted organs and tumors like the brain tumors and pancreatic cancer.  Recent discoveries now also suggest that such a glucose decoy could critically impact a process known as glycosylation and glycan formation and that this type of  activity can directly impact the function of PD-L1, enabling increased immune system response to cancer cells. We have been working on the clinical formulation of WP1122 for some time, and we are eager to now be taking the next key steps to getting WP1122 into the clinic.”


About Moleculin Biotech, Inc.


Moleculin Biotech, Inc. is a clinical stage pharmaceutical company focused on the development of a broad portfolio of oncology drug candidates for the treatment of highly resistant tumors. The Company’s clinical stage drugs are: Annamycin, a Next Generation Anthracycline, designed to avoid multidrug resistance mechanisms with little to no cardiotoxicity being studied for the treatment of relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia, more commonly referred to as AML, WP1066, an Immune/Transcription Modulator capable of inhibiting p-STAT3 and other oncogenic transcription factors while also stimulating a natural immune response, targeting brain tumors, pancreatic cancer and hematologic malignancies, and WP1220, an analog to WP1066, for the topical treatment of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma. Moleculin is also engaged in preclinical development of additional drug candidates, including additional Immune/Transcription Modulators, as well as compounds capable of Metabolism/Glycosylation Inhibition.


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Forward-Looking Statements


Some of the statements in this release are forward-looking statements within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, which involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements in this press release include, without limitation, the ability of WP1122 to show safety and efficacy in patients. Although Moleculin believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable as of the date made, expectations may prove to have been materially different from the results expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Moleculin Biotech has attempted to identify forward-looking statements by terminology including ”believes,” ”estimates,” ”anticipates,” ”expects,” ”plans,” ”projects,” ”intends,” ”potential,” ”may,” ”could,” ”might,” ”will,” ”should,” ”approximately” or other words that convey uncertainty of future events or outcomes to identify these forward-looking statements. These statements are only predictions and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors, including those discussed under Item 1A. “Risk Factors” in our most recently filed Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and updated from time to time in our Form 10-Q filings and in our other public filings with the SEC.  Any forward-looking statements contained in this release speak only as of its date. We undertake no obligation to update any forward-looking statements contained in this release to reflect events or circumstances occurring after its date or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events. The Company cautions investors not to place undue reliance on the interim results announced today.



Joe Dorame, Robert Blum or Joe Diaz

Lytham Partners, LLC