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PharmAust hits milestone in anti-cancer drug reformulation

Biotech tyro PharmAust has hit a major milestone in the development of its potential breakthrough cancer treatment drug Monepantel, with the ASX junior saying it has successfully advanced its reformulation.

Earlier this year Pharmaust partnered with Canadian-based BRI Pharmaceutical Research to reformulate Monepantel, or MPL as it is commonly known, ahead of further clinical studies on the drug, which has returned positive results treating a range of cancerous tumours in dogs and in humans.

Management said this week they had made significant progress with BRI on reformulating the drug and that the company was on track to hit all key project milestones.

These include BRI identifying that MPL could be reformulated as a liquid or dry powder, is able to carry up to six times more drug per capsule than previously and confirming that multiple formulations are being assessed to improve the drug’s taste.

“The project remains on track to overcome the poor palatability and suboptimal dosing associated with the current formulation,” PharmAust told the ASX on Wednesday.

The company will update shareholders on the full progress of the reformulation project in early October.

The announcement from PharmAust comes at an interesting time for the company, which has recently been moving to shore up its IP in several key global markets.

More than 50 potentially breakthrough anti-cancer patents were secured by Pharmaust recently after signing a landmark deal with major Japanese pharmaceuticals company, Nihon Nohyaku Co Ltd.

IP protections for the patents were recently secured in China, Australia and Europe.

The company’s first phase of MPL trials showed upbeat outcomes for patients on solid cancerous tumours that had failed to respond to conventional chemotherapy.

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