MELBOURNE, Australia--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Propanc Biopharma, Inc. (OTCQB: PPCB) (“Propanc” or the “Company”), a biopharmaceutical company developing novel cancer treatments for patients suffering from recurring and metastatic cancer, today announced that the results from a small trial of just 18 rectal cancer patients in complete remission using an immunotherapy called dostarlimab are “impressive,” whilst acknowledging there’s more work to be done. Chief Scientific Officer and Co-Founder, Dr Julian Kenyon MD, MB, ChB, believes that the field’s biggest challenge remains that immunotherapies work inconsistently across cancers. Oncologists estimate a response rate of 20% across cancer types, according to the Wall Street Journal (“WSJ”). The drugs can wipe out cancers from some people, but fail to work for others. It is also uncertain whether the cancer may eventually return once a patient is in remission, even after a prolonged period of time.
Immunotherapies like dostarlimab, known as a checkpoint inhibitor, seek to inhibit key regulators of the immune system that when stimulated, reduces the body’s immune response to fight cancer. Given that immunotherapies target specific gene sequences, it often means they can encounter resistance, due to mutations that occur and genetic variation even within the primary tumor of a patient. As a result, Dr Cercek, from Memorial Sloan Kettering, who conducted the study for dostarlimab, estimates only 10% of rectal cancer patients and about 4% of all cancers will respond to treatment, according to the WSJ.
“For many cancers, multiple factors can drive growth, making it hard to effectively match one biomarker, or a particular gene sequence, to a single drug. On the other hand, a therapeutic approach like our lead product candidate, PRP, which alters the characteristics of the cancer cell, by enforcing it to express proteins it normally wouldn’t, means the treatment is less likely to encounter resistance through mutations, which is what we have observed in the lab as well as in clinical practice,” said Dr Julian Kenyon.
In addition to specifically selecting the 18 rectal cancer patients according to their genetic biomarker, the trial included patients that were pre-metastatic, where tumors were locally advanced in one area, but not spread to other organs. This means patients identified with metastatic cancer were excluded from the trial. Therefore, the treatment and prevention of metastatic cancer, the main cause of patient death for sufferers, still remains the unsolved, final frontier. Cancer stem cells, which are the cells responsible for spreading to other parts of the body, remains a key focus for Dr Kenyon.
Dr Kenyon said, “PRP is a proenzyme treatment that targets and eradicates cancer stem cells by altering multiple pathways of a cancerous cell rather than a single genetic sequence. We’ve observed that once they are treated with PRP, the effects are irreversible and are more easily recognizable by the immune system, therefore potentially improving the response rates of standard approaches like immunotherapy, to overcome advanced cancers. We look forward to testing the utility of PRP with these approaches as we further advance into the clinic.”
PRP is a mixture of two proenzymes, trypsinogen and chymotrypsinogen from bovine pancreas administered by intravenous injection. A synergistic ratio of 1:6 inhibits growth of most tumor cells. Examples include kidney, ovarian, breast, brain, prostate, colorectal, lung, liver, uterine and skin cancers.
About Propanc Biopharma, Inc.
Propanc Biopharma, Inc. (the “Company”) is developing a novel approach to prevent recurrence and metastasis of solid tumors by using pancreatic proenzymes that target and eradicate cancer stem cells in patients suffering from pancreatic, ovarian and colorectal cancers. For more information, please visit www.propanc.com.
The Company’s novel proenzyme therapy is based on the science that enzymes stimulate biological reactions in the body, especially enzymes secreted by the pancreas. These pancreatic enzymes could represent the body’s primary defense against cancer.
To view the Company’s “Mechanism of Action” video on its anti-cancer lead product candidate, PRP, please click on the following link: http://www.propanc.com/news-media/video
All statements other than statements of historical facts contained in this press release are “forward-looking statements,” which may often, but not always, be identified by the use of such words as “may,” “might,” “will,” “will likely result,” “would,” “should,” “estimate,” “plan,” “project,” “forecast,” “intend,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “believe,” “seek,” “continue,” “target” or the negative of such terms or other similar expressions. These statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors, which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such statements. These factors include uncertainties as to the Company’s ability to continue as a going concern absent new debt or equity financings; the Company’s current reliance on substantial debt financing that it is unable to repay in cash; the Company’s ability to successfully remediate material weaknesses in its internal controls; the Company’s ability to reach research and development milestones as planned and within proposed budgets; the Company’s ability to control costs; the Company’s ability to obtain adequate new financing on reasonable terms; the Company’s ability to successfully initiate and complete clinical trials and its ability to successful develop PRP, its lead product candidate; the Company’s ability to obtain and maintain patent protection; the Company’s ability to recruit employees and directors with accounting and finance expertise; the Company’s dependence on third parties for services; the Company’s dependence on key executives; the impact of government regulations, including FDA regulations; the impact of any future litigation; the availability of capital; changes in economic conditions, competition; and other risks, including, but not limited to, those described in the Company’s periodic reports that are filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and available on its website at http://www.sec.gov. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof and the Company disclaims any obligations to update these statements except as may be required by law.