November 14, 2017

BioXcel partners with Calif. firm on cancer treatment

BioXcel, a biopharmaceutical company headquartered in Branford, is partnering with a San Francisco drug company on a potential new therapy for prostate and pancreatic cancer.

The company said Monday it is collaborating with Nektar Therapeutics to study a new treatment that combines Nektar's immuno-oncology drug NKTR-214 with BioXcel's BXCL701.

Both are investigational drugs aimed at harnessing the body's immune system to fight cancers. The goal, the company said, is to leverage the complementary mechanisms of both drugs to boost the body's immune system, while inhibiting the immunosuppressive effects of tumors.

"Combination immunotherapy represents a potentially groundbreaking innovation in cancer treatment," BioXcel Chief Medical Officer Dr. Vince O'Neill said in a statement. "We are hopeful that experimental research studies of these two agents will translate into an immune-mediated anti-cancer benefit."

BioXcel uses big data and artificial intelligence to identify new neuroscience and immuno-oncology drugs and to find new therapeutic uses for existing drugs or drug candidates.

Natalie Missakian can be reached at

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