In an exclusive interview with The Fly, Hillstream BioPharma’s (HILS) CEO Randy Milby talked about the company, its novel therapeutic candidates, upcoming milestones, COVID-related impacts on the company and much more.
CANDIDATES TARGETING FERROPTOSIS: Hillstream BioPharma is a biotechnology company developing novel therapeutic candidates targeting ferroptosis, an emerging new anti-cancer mechanism resulting in iron mediated cell death for drug resistant and devastating cancers. The company's lead drug candidate, HSB-1216, has received FDA orphan drug designation for the treatment of uveal melanoma, in addition to orphan drug designation for small-cell lung cancer. Hillstream’s second drug candidate, HSB-888, also has orphan drug designation and a rare pediatric disease designation for pediatric osteosarcoma.
"We are at forefront of an emerging mechanism of action called ferroptosis. This mechanism has been shown that drug resistance cancer cells are especially sensitive to killing by drugs that induce ferroptosis. Both of these drugs have a mechanism that involves ferroptosis, which is a relatively new anti-cancer mechanism. The HSB-1216 is focused right now on solid tumors. We’ve done a lot of work in small-cell lung cancer, in triple negative breast cancer and we’re also focused on metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer. While we feel, that 1216 has a very expansive indication potential, I always tell the team, ‘You have to pick a lane’,” Milby explained to The Fly.
UPCOMING MILESTONES: Hillstream BioPharma said recently that it saw sufficient capital for the next 12 months. Looking out over the remainder of 2022, Hillstream's CEO sees Phase 0 pharmacokinetics data for HSB-1216 in Australia as the most important milestone for the company. “We’re getting that started so will have some human data by year-end of this year. We’re very enthused about the potential of Quatramer technology. We’ve done a lot of work in other areas but having human data by year-end will serve as validation of this tumor targeting platform,” he added.
COVID-RELATED IMPACT: Discussing COVID-related impacts with The Fly, Milby explained that the company manufactures in the Netherlands and the team is spread through the United States. "I think one of the biggest hurdle or problem is the transportation or shipping because that carries through as far as some research materials we need, and also shipping the product to different locations for the testing aspect,” he said.
TECHNOLOGY VALIDATION: Aside from the drug candidates the company is "moving along," Hillstream's CEO also highlighted “validation” of its technology as the company is working with the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, part of the National Institutes of Health, on HSB-510. “We have not only the drugs but also our Quatramer technology that we feel has a lot potential for a non-dilutive financing when we partner with other companies to put their drugs inside the Quatramer technology,” the executive added.
Quatramer is tumor-targeted platform with capacity to deliver drug and biologic combinations.
"Meet the Company" is The Fly's recurring series of exclusive short interviews with Executive Officers to offer a deeper look inside the company.