Killing more children than any other disease, the average survival rate after diagnosis of brain cancer is only 15 months. But that could soon change with the Charlie Teo Foundation funding new research into a drug developed by Aussie pharmaceuticals company Pharmaxis (ASX: PXS) to tackle glioblastoma, the most common form of brain cancer.
The research centres around Pharmaxis’ drug PXS-5505 which is a potent inhibitor of lysyl oxidase enzymes. These enzymes are accelerators of tumour growth so by inhibiting, the drug has produced highly encouraging preclinical data in tackling other forms of cancer.
— 9News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) April 30, 2021
At present, treatments for brain cancer are devastatingly unmet but with its enzyme-inhibiting properties, PXS-5505 has the potential to increase survival rates by stopping processes that accelerate the disease. Each year, there are more than 300,000 cases of brain and nervous system tumours with glioblastoma being the most common form.
“As a neurosurgeon what I see most from my patients is shock and disbelief that there are no treatment options available to them,” said Professor Charlie Teo, Founder and Director of the Charlie Teo Foundation.
“There is only one first-line chemotherapy and radiation therapy and these treatments only extend life by a matter of months. My brain cancer patients do not accept this fate, and neither do I.”
Funding this new research into PXS-5505 and its application toward treating brain cancer, the Charlie Teo Foundation has awarded a $186k research grant to Y. Alan Wang, Ph.D, associate professor of Cancer Biology at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer.
Pre-clinical efficacy testing led by Dr Wang will run in parallel to Pharmaxis’ existing work into the development of PXS-5505 for the rare bone marrow cancer myelofibrosis.
“We are delighted the Charlie Teo Foundation has awarded this grant to enable study of PXS-5505, aiming to fight this devastating form of brain cancer which is in desperate need of treatment options,” said Pharmaxis CEO, Gary Phillips.
“The study will run over one year and if successful can lead to clinical trials in 2022.
“This new project accesses external funds and expertise to extend the potential uses of PXS-5505 which is already entering efficacy trials in myelofibrosis, a rare form of bone marrow cancer which is currently enrolling patients in a phase 1c/2 clinical trial.”
The granting of the research funding from the Charlie Teo Foundation continues global interest into Pharmaxis and its development of drugs for inflammatory and fibrotic diseases.
Last month, the Company confirmed the commencement of world-first trials led by Professor Fiona Wood AM into another of their enzyme inhibitors PXS-6302 to prevent scar formation. The Company’s ongoing cancer research is funded by sales of their cystic fibrosis treatment Bronchitol which secured FDA approval in 2020 with their recent successes noticed by a leading investment fund that secured 8.9% of the Company.
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