Redx Pharma PLC (LON:REDX) has been told it can up the dose of its lead cancer drug after it successfully navigated the first part of its early-stage trial.
The first lot of cancer patients were given the drug in 0.5mg doses, and following a review of this initial data, regulators have recommended that Redx increases the dose in the second cohort of patients – the recruitment of whom is now underway.
“We are pleased that the Safety Review Committee has recommended that we can now escalate the dose in the phase 1 /2 study of RXC004, our oral porcupine inhibitor, and consequently we have begun enrolment of our second cohort of patients as per protocol,” said chief executive Lisa Anson.
“We believe that RXC004 has the potential to offer clinical benefit both as a monotherapy and in combination with standard of care treatments for patients with Wnt-driven advanced solid tumours. We look forward to completing patient enrolment for the phase 1 monotherapy dose-escalation study and to announcing results during 2020.”
RXC004, is part of a potentially breakthrough group of cancer drugs called Porcupine inhibitors. They work by dialling down the Porcupine protein, which is the control switch for the Wnt pathway – known to be heavily involved in cell growth and division. Now, not all cancers are driven by the Wnt pathway, but the hope is that RXC004 will inhibit the growth of those which are.
Interestingly, there’s a growing bank of research that suggests Porcupine inhibitors may also be very effective in tandem with checkpoint inhibitors such as anti-PD-1s, which lower or break cancer’s defence against the body’s immune system. That’s why Redx plans to assess the drug in combination with a checkpoint inhibitor further down the line, something Swiss giant Novartis is doing with its Porcupine inhibitors.