Goal is to achieve extraordinary efficacy as an anti-cancer agent, with a controlled & mild toxicity profile
Cage Pharma, Inc. is a preclinical bio-pharmaceutical company pursuing a Phase 1 clinical study for CP-102, its lead compound targeting tumor metabolism by specifically inhibiting tumor glycolysis.
CP-102 is a systemically administered, encapsulated anticancer agent that targets cancer by directly attacking one of its key hallmarks, tumor glycolysis.  

Cage Pharma was founded in late-2017 to develop its lead compound, CP-102, that was discovered in the laboratories of Drs. Bert Vogelstein, Kenneth Kinzler and JF Geschwind at Johns Hopkins School of medicine.  The company benefits from a deep history and experience with the underlying drug compound, and has multiple published scientific manuscripts and a broad intellectual property portfolio, including recently issued composition of matter protection for its microencapsulated formulation.  

Cage Pharma is now ready to complete the necessary IND enabling studies and file an IND application to the FDA in early 2022. The combination of a potent anticancer agent targeting a hallmark of cancer, an excellent preclinical safety profile, and a useable built-in biomarker in the form of FDG-PET imaging, all make CP-102 an extremely promising agent and provides Cage Pharma with a unique opportunity to positively impact cancer care.
CP-102 is a potent, small molecule, anticancer drug specifically targeting tumor glycolysis, a key hallmark of cancer.
Glycolysis is the main metabolic pathway used by cancer cells to produce the energy required for rapid growth and proliferation, even in the presence of oxygen.  Normal cells, on the other hand, rely on a different process, namely oxidative phosphorylation, for their energy needs.  This concept is known as the Warburg Effect, and it is this crucial difference in metabolic pathways that CP-102 exploits.  To maintain their high metabolic rate, cancer cells must ensure a high rate of glucose uptake and glycolytic activity.  Cancer cells do this by directly upregulating glucose receptors as well as enzymes involved in glycolysis.  It is these characteristics of cancer cells that make them especially vulnerable to CP-102 which disrupts their ability to metabolize glucose thereby effectively shutting down energy production and ultimately causing cell death through apoptosis.  Although the main target of CP-102 within cancer cells is GAPDH, one of the key glycolytic enzymes, there are other intracellular targets that CP-102 inhibits via alkylation, making CP-102 an extremely potent and effective drug against cancer cells.  Because normal cells do not express such a glycolytic phenotype, they are not impacted by CP-102.
One such biomarker is FDG, a glucose analog, which is routinely used with PET imaging to diagnose cancer by measuring the ability to cancer cells to consume glucose in order to produce energy.  The uptake of FDG is directly related to the activity of the tumor, thereby allowing cancer detection through FDG-PET imaging.  The existence of these biomarkers will allow Cage Pharma to select cancers most susceptible to CP-102 during human clinical trials, and avoid treating patients least likely to respond.
This free form of CP-102 to treat patients with primary and/or secondary liver cancer was previously part of an IND accepted by the FDA.  Now that Cage Pharma is armed with a new systemic formulation, the result of successful microencapsulation of the parent compound, Cage Pharma will focus its drug development program exclusively on CP-102.  In a landmark study and published manuscript, Cage Pharma’s CP-102 was found to eliminate tumors in nude mice when orthotopically implanted with human pancreatic cancer, all without significant toxicities.  CP-102 has also been tested against several other cancer cell lines in vitro with similar effect.
Science & Technology
The company relies on the expertise of multiple seasoned drug development executives, scientists, investors and advisors.  The team is made up of the following people:
Bert Vogelstein, MD
Scientific Advisory
Board Member
Bert Vogelstein, MD is the Clayton Professor of Oncology and Pathology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. His work on colorectal cancers forms the paradigm for much of modern cancer research, with profound implications for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies of the future. He has received numerous national and international awards for his research, and is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National Academy of Sciences and the American Philosophical Society.  Dr. Vogelstein was the first scientist to elucidate the molecular basis of a common human cancer. In particular, he and his colleagues have demonstrated that colorectal tumors result from the gradual accumulation of genetic alterations in specific oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes.  His group's discovery and analysis of these genes and their functions represent a landmark in the application of molecular biology to the study of human disease.  His work on colorectal cancers forms the paradigm for much of modern cancer research, with profound implications for diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in the future.  According to the Institute for Scientific Information in Philadelphia, Dr. Vogelstein is currently the most highly cited scientist in the world.
Ken Kinzler, PhD
Scientific Advisory
Board Member
Kenneth Kinzler, Ph.D., is Professor of Oncology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, co-Director of the Ludwig Center at Johns Hopkins University and Associate Director for Basic Research for the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center (SKCCC).  He has produced classic studies of the genes causing human cancer including the discovery of APC, the gene that initiates virtually all colorectal tumors.  He is also known for his development of genetic methods for analyzing gene expression and mutations in human cancer leading to his more recent work on defining the cancer genome and using released tumor DNA as a clinical biomarker.  He has coauthored over 400 peer-reviewed articles on the molecular analyses of cancer and holds over 125 patents.  He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Medicine, National Academy of Inventors and is a Fellow of American Association of Cancer Research Academy.
Nicholas Nicolaides, PhD
Board Member
Nicholas C. Nicolaides, Ph.D. is the President, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of Morphotek® Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody products through the use of a proprietary gene evolution technology. Morphotek was acquired by Eisai, Co. Ltd. of Japan in 2007 and continues to operate as an autonomous subsidiary. Dr. Nicolaides has served as President and CEO of Morphotek since its founding in 2000, where he has overseen a number of 3rd party revenue-generating license transactions and raised over $78M in venture capital before positioning Morphotek’s successful exit via acquisition by Eisai. Since its inception, Morphotek has leveraged its proprietary engineering technologies to develop a clinical-stage pipeline of first-in-class therapeutic antibodies in the areas of cancer, inflammation and infectious disease.

He is a trained molecular geneticist and has authored over 70 peer-reviewed scientific papers on the molecular and genetic basis of cancer, respiratory disease and drug development and is an inventor on 75 issued patents. He received a B.S. in Biology from St. Joseph’s University, Philadelphia, PA; a Ph.D. in Human Genetics from Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA; and a Fellowship in Oncology from Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD. While at Johns Hopkins, his research resulted in the discovery of the genetic cause of one of the most common forms of inherited cancer and the development of Morphotek’s platform technology called morphogenics.  He has been recognized by R&D Directions’ as one of the Top 20 Most Notable People in Research and Development and received the Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year award. In 2013 he received the Pennsylvania Governor’s Entrepreneur Impact Award for his successful accomplishments in expanding Morphotek’s operations and bringing international investment into the Pennsylvania Common Wealth. 

He currently serves as an ad hoc reviewer for several immunology and cancer research journals; is a member of the American Association for Cancer Research and New York Academy of Sciences; serves on the Dean’s Advisory Board of St. Joseph’s University; is on the Board of Directors of the publically traded specialty pharma Egalet Inc (NASDAQ: EGLT); and is a member of several philanthropic organizations supporting the advancement of education and individuals with disabilities.
Luigi Grasso, PhD
Scientific Advisory
Board Member
Dr. Luigi Grasso is Senior Vice President of Research and Development, Chief Scientific Officer and co-founder of Morphotek® Inc., a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the development of protein and antibody therapeutics using proprietary gene evolution and engineering technologies. He has served as SVP and CSO of Morphotek since its founding in 2000. At Morphotek, he oversees drug discovery and development as well as diagnostic research across an array of specialized areas, including genomics, cellular and molecular biology, protein and antibody chemistry, cell-based manufacturing and preclinical development. His leadership and oversight is responsible for most of the company’s current pipeline of preclinical and clinical-stage compounds.

Prior to co-founding Morphotek, he was Assistant Director of Research at the Magainin Institute of Molecular Medicine, a division of Magainin Pharmaceuticals Inc, where he led efforts to develop targeted therapies to asthma associated factors.

Dr. Grasso's scientific background is in pathology and molecular genetics, where he has studied and co-authored many scientific papers on the molecular and genetic basis of human disease and holds over 50 patents around the discovery of disease pathways and targeted therapeutics. Dr. Grasso received his Ph.D. in Pathology at the University of Catania, Italy and continued his post-doctoral training at the Kimmel Cancer Center and Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, PA.
Jacob Vogelstein, PhD
Board Member
Jacob Vogelstein is a Partner and Portfolio Manager at Camden Partners Holdings, LLC, where he focuses on Camden’s seed strategy. He currently serves on the board of Sisu Global Health, PreScience Labs and Metabolon. Prior to joining Camden, Jacob was a founding partner of the seed-stage venture capital firm Gamma 3, LLC, and a Program Manager at the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity, where he made investments in high-risk, high-reward research to benefit the US Intelligence Community. Earlier in his career, Jacob served on the faculty of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering.  Jacob has received widespread recognition for his innovative work in biomedical engineering over the past decade.  In 2017, he was awarded the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering, which is the highest honor bestowed by the United States Government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their careers.  He has been an invited speaker for diverse audiences ranging from BBC News to President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, and has three patents pending in the fields of neuroprosthetics and brain-machine interfaces.  Jacob earned a Sc.B. degree from Brown University in Bio-Electrical Engineering and a Ph.D. degree in Biomedical Engineering from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Jason Rifkin, JD, MB
Interim CEO & Board Member
Jason Rifkin is interim-Chief Executive Officer.  Jason has been an executive in early stage biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies in numerous indications, and has managed all aspects of operations including clinical and scientific affairs, business development, licensing, and intellectual property pursuits.  For the past ten years, he has focused on tactical execution of early stage business plans to build companies and technologies through pre-commercial inflection points, and hit important early development milestones.  In addition to Jason’s role as interim-CEO of Cage Pharma, he is President and CEO of AAVP Biosystems, Inc., a targeted gene therapy company, and previously held roles of Vice President of Business and Contract Development of AZTherapies, Inc., a late-stage clinical development company enrolling a Phase 3 Alzheimer’s study; Director of Business Development at MAX BioPharma, Inc., an early stage osteoporosis company; Executive Vice President of PalliaTech, Inc., a palliative care company focused on the development of palliative care focused therapeutics; and Senior Vice President of Delcath Systems, Inc. a publically traded oncology focused company.  Jason earned a Master’s of Science in Biotechnology from The University of Pennsylvania, School of Engineering and Applied Science, a Juris Doctor from Northeastern University School of Law, and a Bachelor of Science from The University of Pennsylvania, College of Arts and Sciences.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
Cage Pharma completed a seed round of funding in early 2018, which supports its initial efforts preparing for an IND submission. The Company is now targeting a $15 million fund raise to carry the company through IND-enabling efforts, drug manufacturing, and Phase 1.  The timeline for IND-enabling and drug manufacturing carries through 2021, with Phase 1 trial enrollment beginning in 2022.

The Company relies on its Founders, Inventors, Scientific Advisors and Management team to propel its technology forward into the clinic.