NEW YORK, Feb. 1, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- AIkido Pharma Inc. (Nasdaq: AIKI) ("AIkido" or the "Company") today announced that the Company executed a Two Million Dollar Convertible Promissory Note Purchase Agreement with Convergent Therapeutics, Inc., securing an early investment in Convergent. Convergent has exclusive rights to technology related to next generation radiopharmaceutical therapy for prostate cancer that is covered by multiple issued U.S. and foreign patents.
Convergent is currently conducting advanced human trials relating to prostate cancer treatments involving peptide receptor radionuclide therapy ("PRRT") that targets the prostate-specific membrane antigen ("PSMA") present on prostate cancer cells. The technology was developed under the direction of Dr. Neil Bander, Professor of Urologic Oncology at Weill Cornell Medicine.
The key component of Convergent's PRRT prostate cancer therapy is its proprietary drug, CONV 01-α, a monoclonal antibody conjugated with 225Ac, a radioactive alpha particle emitter. The function of CONV 01-α is unique in that it not only binds specifically to the PSMA receptor on prostate cancer cells, but also stimulates the internalization of the receptor along with itself and its powerful radioactive payload directly into tumor cells. Convergent is presently conducting two sets of human clinical trials using CONV 01-α as a single agent treatment for prostate cancer. The first is a Phase 1a/2a Single Ascending Dose Trial of CONV 01-α and the results are expected to be released in Q2 2021. In August of 2020, Convergent began a second Phase 1b/2a trial to test the efficacy of multiple ascending doses of CONV 01-α. If FDA approved, CONV 01-α would be the first antibody drug approved to direct a radioisotope into prostate cancer cells, and the first drug approved for the use of 225Ac in cancer treatment.
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Leveraging the ability of CONV 01-α to internalize the PSMA receptor along with molecules bound to it, Convergent has also developed a proprietary dual therapy by adding a second molecule that specifically binds to PSMA and also contains a radioactive isotope. Convergent has identified certain small molecules that bind to PSMA, but at a different epitope than does CONV 01-α, and therefore do not interfere with the binding of CONV 01-α or its ability to internalize PSMA. The result is that two different radioactive drugs are internalized directly into prostate cancer cells. Importantly, Convergent identified small molecules, with a current focus on the molecule PSMA I&T, that have different biodistributions in the body than does CONV 01-α, so as to reduce additive damage from using two radioactive agents. PSMA I&T is a molecule routinely used clinically to perform imaging to show the presence and distribution of PSMA in a prostate cancer patient. Preliminary animal data using this proprietary dual action PRRT indicate that the two molecules administered together act in a truly synergistic fashion, i.e., the effect of using both drugs together is significantly higher than the expected additive effects of using each separately.