Traditional chemotherapy and radiotherapy have long been the standard of care for cancer treatment, but it’s no secret that there are numerous, debilitating side effects to a patient’s physical and mental health. Both are oftentimes ineffective with several cancers exhibiting poor responsiveness to traditional treatment.
Clinical-stage drug development company Noxopharm (ASX: NOX) is addressing this group of cancers through their proprietary drug, Veyonda. Soon to enter Phase 2 trials, Veyonda is designed to work in conjunction with existing cancer therapies to deliver optimal clinical outcomes for rare and difficult to treat cancers. Veyonda aims to harness the power of the immune system through multiple mechanisms, notably it has the ability to increase the trafficking of immune cells.
The DARRT-2 trial is seeking to induce the abscopal response, a phenomenon where an immune or inflammatory response within a single lesion brought about by low-dose radiotherapy triggers a systemic immune response throughout the whole body, resulting in the reduction of non- irradiated lesions elsewhere in the body.
Dr. Graham Kelly, CEO and Managing Director of Noxopharm, said: “The abscopal response is a highly attractive cancer treatment goal because it provides the opportunity for a major anti-cancer outcome from a generally safe and minimally invasive treatment. The challenge is that it is a very rare phenomenon that to date has proven difficult to reproduce on a consistent basis.”
The study will include 100 patients across multiple countries with progressive, metastatic prostate, breast or lung cancers that have been unresponsive to standard treatment.
Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Gisela Mautner said: “The DARRT-2 study is an important study for us as it builds on the successful results of DARRT-1. The difference between the two studies is that DARRT-2 will be a much bigger study and will explore a more intensive treatment with Veyonda. To increase the value of the study, we have added a second trial arm to include a small number of breast and lung cancer patients. This will ensure that, apart from the main focus of the study in prostate cancer, we also generate results in two additional cancer types.”
With the radiotherapy market predicted to reach a value of US $7.3 billion by 2026, and the chemotherapy market a huge USD$50 billion by 2024, Noxopharm is keen to piggyback and even disrupt these.