PharmAust expands national anti-cancer trial network
ASX-listed biotech PharmAust, has taken another positive step in its development of cancer therapeutics for humans and animals by securing the Brisbane Animal Hospital as the latest site for its Phase II anti-cancer trial in dogs with B cell lymphoma.
The clinical-stage drug development company said this week that the Brisbane Hospital represented the fifth site to sign on for its expanding network of anti-cancer trials in canines that already includes locations in Perth, Melbourne and two centres in Sydney.
The ASX-listed junior said experienced specialist veterinary oncologist, Kathleen O’Connell, from the Animal Referral Hospital in Brisbane, who has a keen interest in animal cancers such as lymphoma, has agreed to participate in the clinical trial to take place in the Queensland capital.
The company also said recruitment continued of dogs with naïve B cell lymphoma to participate in the ongoing trial, adding that a number of canine patients with cancer have already begun treatment and some have completed the full course of treatment at other sites across the country.
The company also noted that plasma and whole blood samples would be analysed in the laboratory after days 14 and 28 of the trial, whilst release of the trial data will depend upon the incremental drug success rate across the participating sites when sufficient dogs have completed the treatment.
PharmAust’s Chief Scientific Officer Dr Richard Mollard stated: “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.”
PharmAust’s lead drug is Monepantel, or “MPL”, a potent inhibitor of the pathway that drives the development of cancer that has seen pleasing results in Phase 1 clinical trials in humans and dogs.
Given the upbeat Phase 1 results, the company now wants to aggressively accelerate its Phase II anti-cancer treatment trials with an ultimate view to successfully treating lymphoma in canines initially and then moving on to treat human cancers.
The company also continues to make strides in progressing the evaluation of MPL in human trials, recently submitting its MPL human trial paper for publication in a peer reviewed journal.
In anticipation of progressing further human studies, Pharmaust says it is also preparing a “co-micronised” MPL tablet and will start a “pharmacokinetic study” to identify an optimised tablet formula that reduces tablet numbers for the human trial.
Meanwhile, Pharmaust is also planning to undertake a third “Good Manufacturing Practice” (GMP) Monepantel tablet program mid-2020 to cater for future human trials as well as to provide further tablets for the ongoing dog trials around the country.
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