23/07/2021 - 14:07

PharmAust looks to patent anti-cancer drug

23/07/2021 - 14:07

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ASX-listed biotechnology company PharmAust has filed a patent for the use of its monepantel anti-cancer drug to treat viral diseases, having previously said the drug had a positive anti-viral effect on cultured cells infected with COVID-19. The company is developing monepantel as a novel, safe and effective treatment for cancer in humans and animals and is also testing its efficacy in neurodegenerative disease.

PharmAust has filed a patent for the use of its monepantel anti-cancer drug in viral diseases. Credit: File

ASX-listed biotechnology company PharmAust has filed a patent for the use of its monepantel anti-cancer drug to treat viral diseases, having previously said the drug had a positive anti-viral effect on cultured cells infected with COVID-19. The company is developing monepantel as a novel, safe and effective treatment for cancer in humans and animals and is also testing its efficacy in neurodegenerative disease.

The patent application, covering monepantel and aminoacetonitrile derivatives as anti-viral agents, is expected to be open for public review in November 2021.

Earlier this year PharmAust announced positive developments in its efforts to produce an anti-viral treatment and prevention therapeutic for COVID-19. The company said it was able to show monepantel and its metabolite, monepantel sulfone, offered protection against cell death in non-human primate systems.

PharmAust recently broadened its investigation into monepantel’s anti-viral applications by launching into a research services agreement to test the drug’s efficacy in combatting the HTLV-1 virus, a cancer inducing virus that targets the immune system.

Under the agreement PharmAust will collaborate with leading Victoria-based biomedical research organisation, the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute, to seek an effective treatment for 10-to-20 million people worldwide infected with HTLV-1. The virus causes pulmonary disease, inflammatory disorders and in some cases leukaemia or lymphoma.

Management says the study of HTLV-1 is of significance due to readily available relevant pre-clinical virus infection models, in living organisms and in the laboratory, potentially providing the company with substantial data to support future human trials.

PharmAust has already been conducting clinical trials to evaluate monepantel’s effects on humans and dogs diagnosed with solid tumours, in addition to a phase-two pilot study in dogs diagnosed with lymphoma.

Managements says the drug shows preliminary evidence of anti-cancer activity in phase-one clinical trials in humans, and objective anti-cancer activity in phase-two trials in canines.

All trials are reported to have accomplished their primary clinical endpoints in terms of safety and reduction in key clinical biomarkers.

A recent phase IIb trial on dogs reportedly achieved tumour regression and increased progression-free survival in the animals. The company says the results could have significant implications for human cancer treatment and it is now set to fast-track to phase-three canine trials.

PharmAust believes it is well-positioned to commercialise monepantel for treatment of human and veterinary cancers, in addition to neurodegenerative disease.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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