Brentwood-based biopharma company CytRx Corp. on Sept. 7 announced the European Patent Office had awarded it a patent for its main drug platform.
CytRx has developed a platform called LADR that allows for delivery of higher concentrations of chemotherapy drugs without a corresponding increase in toxic side effects.
The platform can be added on to a range of existing chemotherapy drugs, primarily through licensing deals. Its most significant such deal at the moment is with Culver City-based Immunity Bio Inc., the immunotherapy company founded by billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong, for a version of the chemotherapy drug doxorubicin.
With this patent in hand, CytRx can now apply its platform to drugs destined for the European market. CytRx had previously received similar patent protection from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
The company has also pursued patent protection covering certain specific drugs that incorporate its LADR platform.
“We are pleased that the United States and European patent offices have granted these patents relating to the LADR system and of drugs incorporating the LADR system,” newly appointed Chief Executive Stephen Snowdy said in the announcement.
This is a significant development for CytRx as it attempts to right itself after a long, steep slide in its share price that has put the company in penny stock territory. Fifteen years ago, the share price had topped $150; on Sept. 7, the share price closed at roughly 7 cents.
The European patent office approval sent shares up to nearly 10 cents.
Earlier this year, after longtime chief executive and board chairman Steven Kriegsman retired at age 80, CytRx hired Snowdy, a serial entrepreneur and medical venture capitalist. The company also made some cost-saving moves, including bringing its main subsidiary fully in-house and converting preferred shares to common shares to avoid paying a penalty to a major investor hedge fund.