Cothera Bioscience Acquires Zotiraciclib from Adastra Pharmaceuticals

06 October 2021

- Cothera to Advance Clinical Development of Oral Kinase Inhibitor with Unique Myc Depletion

PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY, USA, October 6, 2021 / -- Cothera Bioscience Inc. and Adastra Pharmaceuticals Inc., private biopharmaceutical companies focused on the development of first-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced a definitive agreement under which Cothera has acquired zotiraciclib (ZTR), an oral kinase inhibitor that readily crosses the blood brain barrier and possesses a unique mechanism of action of Myc depletion via the inhibition of cyclin-dependent kinase 9 (CDK9). Financial terms of the asset purchase were not disclosed.

After the conclusion of the trial a successful Type B meeting with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Division of Oncology (D02) was held. The transition of ZTR from Adastra to Cothera enables the execution of clinical development plans built on input from the FDA meeting, as well as insight from global neuro-oncology thought-leaders and clinical investigators.

“The acquisition of zotiraciclib fits nicely into the Cothera portfolio of differentiated drug candidates synergistically aligning to our current research efforts to address cancers driven by the Myc oncogene,” said Alex Wu, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Cothera. “Importantly, zotiraciclib adds to the Cothera portfolio of therapeutics that hold promise for cancer patients around the world.”

Scott Megaffin, Chief Executive Officer of Adastra, said, “I want to thank all the physicians and dedicated healthcare providers who have put forward relentless effort on behalf of their patients as the Adastra team transitions zotiraciclib into Cothera.”

Vernon Jiang, Ph.D., Executive Vice President and Co-Founder of Cothera, added, “We are grateful to Adastra for its important work with physicians within neuro-oncology. Cothera is enthusiastic to build upon these relationships, as we believe highly in the promise of zotiraciclib in high-grade gliomas and pediatric mid-line gliomas such as Diffuse Intrinsic Pointe Glioma (DIPG).

About Cothera

Cothera Bioscience is a clinical stage biotech company developing therapeutics for previous undruggable oncology targets with high unmet medical needs. The company’s strength is in its clinically validated translational platform exploiting synthetic legality and protein degradation pathways for cancer killing. The company has developed a series of new drugs targeting the Myc and Kras and BRAF mutant cancers with clinical trials launched in the US, EU and Asia. For more information, visit

About Adastra

Adastra Pharmaceuticals Inc. is a private, clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company committed to providing responsible solutions to advance patient care in oncology. We invite you to learn more about Adastra, the zotiraciclib clinical information and our scientific partners by visiting




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