ASX-listed PharmAust appears to have made a breakthrough in its fight to combat canine cancer with a “phase IIb” trial of its Monepantel anti-cancer drug reportedly achieving tumour regression and increased progression-free survival in dogs. The company says the results could have significant implications for human cancer treatment and it will now fast-track to phase-three animal trials.
ASX-listed PharmAust appears to have made a breakthrough in its fight to combat canine cancer with a “phase IIb” trial of its Monepantel anti-cancer drug reportedly achieving tumour regression and increased progression-free survival in dogs. The company says the results could have significant implications for human cancer treatment and will now fast-track to phase-three animal trials.
The latest trial involved 15 dogs with B-cell lymphomas. The relatively common and aggressive cancer has symptoms including enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, weight loss and loss of appetite.
Twelve dogs completed the 28-day trial. PharmAust said without its treatment up to 15 of the dogs would typically be euthanised within 29-30 days due to progression of the disease and poor life quality.
Management said one dog achieved “objective regression” with some tumours “resolving” completely.
The disease was effectively stabilised in six of the trial dogs, according to PharmAust.
Management said the demonstrated ability of the drug to target a central metabolic pathway linked to tumour growth gave the company confidence in Monepantel’s suitability for use in other canine cancers.
PharmAust believes the “compelling outcome” of the trial might have important implications for progression-free cancer survival and overall cancer survival rates for people.
It says the trial’s achievement of disease stability in primary cancerous lesions and in metastatic disease in dogs might also be significant for human cancer treatment.
“Stable disease” was previously achieved by the company in a phase-one trial conducted on humans suffering from progressive cancers that were resistant to alternative treatments.
PharmAust is now evaluating its options for human clinical trials.
The trial's principal investigator Dr Kim Agnew said: “The investigative approach PharmAust has devoted to individual patient diagnostic outcomes is very complete and achievement of this statistically significant study milestone indicates Monepantel can positively impact the lives of canine patients with B-cell lymphoma. Phase III studies enable a deeper investigation of how Monepantel can best become part of a canine oncologist's therapeutic portfolio. This will be a very exciting part of the development.”
PharmAust is set to skip an expanded phase-two trial that would normally follow its phase IIb design and move straight into a more advanced phase-three clinical trial on dogs.
The company is aiming to commercialise Monepantel for canine cancer treatment and has commenced discussions with global pharmaceutical companies to co-develop the product.
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