Capella is a private oncology startup company in San Diego, California, focusing on targeted therapy and precision medicines. Its primary program involves a drug candidate, LL-191, that is ready for clinical trials. LL-191 treats resistant cancers caused by EGFR mutations such as Exon 20 insertions, rare EGFR mutations, as well as none-EGFR related resistance caused by HER2 overexpression, YES1 overexpression, and RET fusion and mutation in Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer (NSCLC). In addition, LL-191 appears to offer improved treatment of NSCLC driven by resistant EGFR T790M mutation and sensitive L858R and exon 19 deletions (for which only previous generations of EGFR inhibitor drugs are available).
In animal models, LL-191 outperformed any other EGFR inhibitor drug in treating brain and bone metastases, the two most prevalent and difficult to treat metastatic forms of lung cancer. In pre-clinical studies, LL-191 treatment led to complete brain tumor remission or cure vs. tumor regression seen with competitor drugs. Capella believes that LL-191 can also be used to treat other solid and liquid tumors outside of NSCLC, making it target-based precision medicine, independent of tissues and organs where cancer originates.
Capella expects to commence clinical trials in late 2020 or early 2021.
Capella is also advancing the development of another molecular-targeted drug, LL-101, a dual inhibitor of two different mechanisms driving some common hematological malignancies. LL-101 is highly brain-accessible for the treatment of brain metastases of blood cancers.