News & Trends - Biotechnology

Local biotech releases promising advances in pancreatic cancer treatment

Health Industry Hub | September 29, 2023 |

Biotech News: Sydney-based biotech company Noxopharm has unveiled compelling data from its innovative Chroma™ platform at the American Association of Cancer Research (AACR) Special Conference on Pancreatic Cancer in Boston.

The focal point of this revelation is CRO-67, a dual-cell preclinical drug candidate engineered to combat pancreatic cancer, one of the most challenging forms of cancer to treat.

Presented in collaboration with the University of New South Wales (UNSW), the latest findings underscore a substantial reduction in tumour volume and a decelerated growth rate, substantiating previous research conducted in 2022. The study involved the implantation of human pancreatic cancer cells into mice, treated with CRO-67 over a span of 21 days.

The outcomes were nothing short of remarkable, showcasing a significant reduction in tumor volume, averaging an impressive 56.7% in comparison to untreated controls (p=0.0013). Additionally, the drug effectively decelerated the tumour growth rate by a striking 48%, extending the median doubling time to 8.5 days from the mere 4.4 days observed in untreated controls.

This marks a major stride in the battle against a cancer notorious for its resilient nature, attributed to the dense cellular barrier surrounding tumours and the heightened genetic diversity among individual patients.

Dr Gisela Mautner, the CEO of Noxopharm, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “These results are encouraging because they demonstrate that CRO-67 is having a strong effect in different settings such as human cell lines and mice, as well as in patient explants.”

Previous studies at UNSW Sydney had already demonstrated the wide-ranging anti-cancer efficacy of CRO-67 across various pancreatic cancer cell lines, as well as its potent effectiveness against barrier cells.

These newly released in vivo results not only confirm CRO-67’s bioavailability and biological efficacy in animal models but also fortify Noxopharm’s confidence in this asset, now at the forefront of the company’s ongoing development program.

Dr Mautner added “While we are also planning a further study to demonstrate efficacy in a different model, we are already moving ahead and developing the dosing and formulation for patients. All the studies we have performed are important elements to build out a robust data package that will be required for regulatory progression and validates our ongoing research as we explore the potential of CRO-67 to be further developed as a treatment for pancreatic cancer.”

Highlighting the urgency of this breakthrough, Dr Mautner stressed, “The disease is set to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the US by 2040 and has a very poor five-year survival rate of about 9% from the time of diagnosis.

“Very few new treatments have been released over the past decades, meaning there is an urgent need to develop innovative drugs and therefore a major opportunity for Noxopharm to make a significant contribution in this space,” she added, outlining the critical need for accelerated innovation and advancement in the fight against pancreatic cancer.

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