ASX-listed biotech PharmAust has successfully identified a revamped formulation of its promising anti-cancer drug “Monepantel”. Perth-based PharmAust says that the reformulated Monepantel will improve the drug’s taste and enable the delivery of over 10 times the amount of substance per dose than previously, paving the way for clinical trials ahead of full scale commercialisation.
ASX listed biotech company PharmAust’s reformulation of its potentially breakthrough anti-cancer drug known as “Monepantel” has hit a key and highly anticipated milestone.
The Perth-based company said this week that it had successfully identified a method to improve the drug’s taste and boost its dosage.
Pharmaust achieved this milestone in collaboration with Canadian-based BRI Pharmaceutical Research who assisted Pharmaust to successfully identify the reformulation method, which could now be used to prepare Monepantel for a clinical trial.
In a recent market update, PharmAust said the collaboration between the two companies, which began last year, showed “micronisation” of the drug successfully met requirements for dosing, taste masking and oral bioavailability.
Micronisation refers to a highly technical milling technique that grinds the drug into a fine powder that can then be packaged into capsules or tablets.
The upside of the process, PharmAust says, is that depending on the size of the capsule or tablet, the approach can deliver over 10 times more drug than the current formulation. It can also dramatically improve the drug’s taste.
“In terms of taste, studies in animals and humans have shown that dry powder monepantel is much more palatable than the liquid form of the drug,” PharmAust said.
“Further, micronised monepantel is amenable to a number of conventional taste-masking approaches that can further improve palatability.”
Once the new formulation is finalised, the ASX junior said Monepantel production would be scaled up in the lead up to a clinical trial in dogs later this year in readiness for full scale commercialisation.
PharmAust’s first phase of Monepantel trials showed positive outcomes for patients on solid cancerous tumours that had failed to respond to conventional chemotherapy.