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PharmAust K9 anti-cancer drug pulls off remarkable cancer turnaround

ASX-listed PharmAust Limited has chalked up a remarkable success with its rapidly developing “Monepantel” anti-cancer drug after its latest trial on man’s best friend showed a significant turnaround in the health of dogs suffering from naïve B cell lymphoma.  One dog achieved greater than 60 per cent reduction in tumour burden, with one of its tumours regressing completely.

PharmAust said the trial that used a tablet form of Monepantel had outperformed the original liquid form.

In an interim trial update, the company said it had completed an assessment of six out of seven eligible dogs undergoing treatment at home with their owners.

The Roger Aston-led company said that in addition to the dog that achieved the reduction in tumour burden, four other dogs achieved stable disease and progressive disease was seen in only one dog. This outcome provides a meaningful trend, comparing favourably with the treatment in the original trial back in December 2017 that used a liquid version of the Monepantel formula.  In the earlier study, six of seven dogs only achieved stable disease and progressive disease was seen in one dog.

Whilst some side effects were noted in certain dogs during treatment, such as elevated liver enzymes and inappetence, PharmAust said that its four key goals for the trial were met.

The company was able to determine the capability, safety and efficacy of monepantel tablets, especially when compared with previous canine and human studies and sufficient positive and indicative data was derived to enable phase three trials to commence.

Furthermore, PharmAust said the trial produced sufficient data to enable further discussions with Elanco US Inc, with which it has an option agreement over the drug.  The company hopes to be able to commercialise Monepantel once it has tested dose reduction options during the phase three trials.

PharmAust’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Richard Mollard said: PharmAust is delighted to include Dr O’Connell and her team at ARH Brisbane in the trial. Having the ARH Brisbane team join the trial brings additional expertise and aims to realise outcomes sooner.”

PharmAust is also pleased to have the opportunity to treat pet owners’ dogs with B cell lymphoma in and around the Brisbane area.”

The principal investigator overseeing the trial, the University of Melbourne and U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital’s Veterinarian, Dr Claire Cannon said: “Monepantel appears to be showing anti-cancer activity in dogs with lymphoma and I believe that controlled Phase III trials are now warranted to investigate the efficacy and safety of lower dose monepantel. The Phase II trial results suggest that monepantel, perhaps in combination with standard of care lymphoma therapy, may represent a future prospect for treatment of dogs with this disease.”

Pharmaust’s stock hit 17.5c during intra-day trade yesterday before settling, up 75% against its closing price the day before.

 

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