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The future of oncology therapies: Stingray Therapeutics’ immune-boosting breakthrough

“Despite numerous therapies, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is only 13%,” says CEO of Stingray Therapeutics

Photo courtesy of Stingray Therapeutics
Photo courtesy of Stingray Therapeutics

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“Despite numerous therapies, the five-year survival rate for colon cancer is only 13%. That means that 87% of people who get that diagnosis will die from their disease within five years. That’s just abysmal,” stresses Jon Northrup, CEO & Co-Founder of Stingray Therapeutics. 

Current immune oncology treatments face a critical limitation: they are only effective in about half of all tumors. The challenge arises from the human immune system and its complexity. It operates through two primary mechanisms: the “adaptive” and “innate” arms. If one arm is inactive, the treatment fails to yield results. Unfortunately, innate immunity is deactivated in over half of all cancer tumors. Because present immuno-oncology therapies predominantly target the adaptive arm and not the innate arm, they are all rendered ineffective. 

Fortunately, there is hope on the horizon, and it is getting a lot of attention. One such solution is Stingray Therapeutics and their breakthrough SR-8541A therapy. Showing a great deal of promise in clinical trials, the treatment restores innate immunity and the potential to unlock the effectiveness of powerful immuno-oncology therapies to treat the other half of tumors where they do not currently work. 

The potential impact of Stingray’s therapy is profound. “With its power to revitalize innate immunity and work together with existing treatments,” Northrup shares, “Stingray therapeutics is showing significant promise that could dramatically improve outcomes for patients all over the world.” 

Stingray Therapeutics is leading the competition

They have competition, but in a race to address this critical need, Stingray Therapeutics stands out among its competitors. The superiority of SR-8541A lies in its promising absorption rate which is crucial for modulating the pathway responsible for producing interferon, a key component of the immune response. Interferon is an immune fighter your body makes to fight off viruses, cancer and other threats. “Both too little and too much are bad. Too little and the cancer grows without any attack from our immune system.” 

By controlling this pathway, SR-8541A helps people’s immune systems work better. Whereas many competitors’ therapies have poorer bioavailability and solubility. “When absorption rates vary a lot, you end up with very differing blood levels from one patient to the next. One competitor has an average absorption of 10%, so if people absorb more of the drug (maybe 20%), while others absorb less (maybe 5%), you have 4x variability and that is a lot. Our drug, with an absorption rate of around 80%, keeps this range tight and consistent. That’s why we think our drug is better for this job. In the last year, we’ve been in Australia doing our single agent phase one, a dose escalation clinical trial. Of the three competitors in the clinic, we’re best in class.” 

Aside from absorption superiority, Stingray Therapeutics is among the first products in development in this category. This early entry positions it as a reference product for future therapies, especially with the early safety and efficacy data the team has been accumulating, making it crucial for future physician confidence and positive patient outcomes. 

Northrup notes that while being early has other challenges, the advantage is that doctors feel more confident using a drug that has been extensively studied in a large number of patients. Later products will need to show significant benefits over the early frontrunners like Stingray Therapeutics’ SR-8541A, so they will have to study directly against it. That builds SR-8541A’s  study history and doctor’s confidence. Also, doctors are often reluctant to change their prescribing habits once they become accustomed to a particular drug.  (Be on the lookout for Stingray Therapeutics and its drugs efficacy readouts coming soon.)

Northrup is aiming for Stingray Therapeutics to reach response rates of 40% to 50% when used with double checkpoint inhibitors, which would be a big improvement over current rates. This could change how diseases like pancreatic cancer, metastatic prostate cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer are treated. With millions of people in the US affected by these diseases each year, Stingray’s approach could make a huge difference in cancer treatment, not only in the U.S., but worldwide.

Likewise, as Stingray progresses through clinical trials and demonstrates the full potential of its therapy, the stage is being set for future collaboration with large pharmaceutical partners who can bring this life-saving treatment to the masses and offer hope to patients facing the most challenging cancer diagnoses.

“There are over 600,000 people living with metastatic breast, prostate, lung, colorectal, or bladder cancer or metastatic melanoma in the United States,” according to the National Cancer Institute. There are 53,000 deaths a year in the US from metastatic colorectal cancer, while 3.3 million people in the US are fighting prostate cancer as you read this. Pancreatic cancer kills 66,000 people a year in the U.S. alone. Northrup shares, “This drug has a lot of potential applications. It also has potential beyond the ‘big’ cancers it’s currently being tested for, and we want to make sure all that potential happens to help the most people.” 

The dismal survival rates and limitations in current therapies emphasize a critical need for effective and innovative new immune cancer treatments. Stingray’s SR-8541A therapy offers hope by restoring innate immunity and enhancing the effectiveness of immuno-oncology treatments. With superior absorption rates and early entry into development, Stingray stands out among competitors and leads the charge in transforming cancer care. As clinical trials progress and response rates continue to improve, be on the lookout for Stingray Therapeutics. They are on track to a cancer treatment breakthrough that offers hope to millions worldwide facing the fight of their life. 

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Written By

Jon Stojan is a professional writer based in Wisconsin. He guides editorial teams consisting of writers across the US to help them become more skilled and diverse writers. In his free time he enjoys spending time with his wife and children.

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