SYDNEY--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Noxopharm, a clinical-stage Australian oncology drug development company listed on the ASX (ASX:NOX), has claimed a breakthrough in the search for restoring immune function within “cold” microtumors, converting them to so-called “hot” tumors.
The breakthrough stems from new preclinical data from two independent research groups. The data confirms that idronoxil, the active ingredient in the company’s immuno-oncology drug candidate, and sphingosine-1-phosphate inhibitor, Veyonda®, activate cancer-fighting immune cells and then enable their entry into microtumors.
Cold tumors lack cancer-fighting T cells, regarded as a fundamental hurdle in enabling immuno-oncology drugs known as immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) to work in more patients and in more cancer types. ICIs have been hailed as the future of cancer therapy, but they require the presence of active T cells in order to work, meaning that they are poorly effective in cold tumors. The majority of human tumors appear to be cold, making the development of a drug or technique that repopulates tumors with immunocompetent T cells a major priority of global pharmaceutical companies.
This new research was conducted by The Institute of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine of the Goethe-University, Frankfurt, and the Department of Clinical Oncology and the Centre for Cancer Research at Hong Kong University. Other preclinical and clinical data held by Noxopharm, together with the new research data, leads Noxopharm to believe it is close to claiming the first drug capable of converting tumors from cold to hot across multiple cancer types in a well-tolerated way.
Dr. Graham Kelly, Noxopharm CEO, said, “This is exciting news because it suggests that Veyonda could hold the answer to arguably the biggest challenge currently facing the oncology world, that of restoring the cancer-fighting ability of the body’s immune system in order to achieve higher response rates to immuno-oncology drugs.”
Noxopharm now is in a position to discuss with industry partners the opportunity to use Veyonda to enable ICI drugs to work in patients whose cancers fail to respond to the ICI drug alone.
Noxopharm is a clinical-stage Australian oncology drug development company with offices in Sydney and New York. The company has a primary focus on the development of Veyonda® and is the major shareholder in the non-oncology drug development company, Nyrada Inc. (ASX:NYR)