Biopharmaceutical company Galera Therapeutics‘ stock price rose 41% after showing results from early-stage testing of its experimental therapy for advanced pancreatic cancer. The company is creating proprietary therapies that can potentially transform radiotherapy in cancer. This therapy is designed to protect normal cells and sensitize cancer cells to radiation.

Galera Therapeutics was started in St. Louis in 2009. The company went public in 2019 through public stock offering that resulted in $60 million. The company’s research and development work is done at the Helix Center in the 39 North innovation district.

“The Helix Center was an essential piece in enabling us to assemble the research team and lab space to get our drug candidates into the clinic,”  Robert A. Beardsley, PhD, Chief Operating Officer at Galera Therapeutics, said. “Now that Galera is a public company, and our first candidate is completing Phase 3, our labs here continue to play a critical role in both advancing that drug and creating the next generation.”

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Galera’s Phase 1/2 pilot trial of its new drug candidate GC4419, also referred to as avasopasem, is testing the experimental treatment in patients with locally advanced pancreatic cancer who are undergoing stereotactic body radiation therapy. The updated results, according to the company, showed that – in all 42 patients participating in the study – the results at six months were consistent with the positive results reported at three months. Galera plans to report final results from the trial, after a minimum of one year of follow-up, during the second half of 2021.