Amplia Therapeutics Ltd (ASX:ATX) (OTCSMKTS:INNMF) has executed a collaboration agreement and research and licence agreement with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney, Australia – initially announced in March.
These agreements define the structure of an ongoing collaborative research and clinical development program to be undertaken with Garvan, focusing on the use of Amplia’s FAK inhibitor, AMP945, to treat patients with pancreatic cancer.
The collaboration, which was forecast with the signing of a non-binding term sheet in March 2021, provides Amplia with access to Garvan’s research strength in FAK biology and its extensive clinical research network.
Chief executive officer and MD Dr John Lambert said: “It is very exciting for Amplia to be able to tap into the extensive experience in FAK biology, cancer biology and clinical networks that are available at a globally-recognised research institute such as Garvan.
“We have already seen the benefits of this collaboration through the results of the non-clinical studies which we announced earlier this year.
“These studies have provided important insights into the biology of AMP945 and have further validated our decision to progress this promising drug into a phase-2 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer patients.”
Phase-2 clinical trial planning
Already, non-clinical studies conducted in the laboratory of Professor Paul Timpson, Cancer Research Theme Leader at Garvan, a world-renowned expert in FAK biology, have provided Amplia with valuable insights into the ability of AMP945 to inhibit fibrosis and significantly improve survival in an animal model of aggressive pancreatic cancer.
Amplia is incorporating these insights and using its access to Garvan’s clinical research network to assist with the design and planning of a phase-2 clinical trial of AMP945 in patients with pancreatic cancer that is scheduled to commence later this year.
The terms of the final collaboration agreement also provide for expansion into other therapeutic areas.
"Better treatment options"
Garvin executive director professor Chris Goodnow added: “At Garvan, we aim to translate our cancer research findings into better treatment options and improved clinical outcomes for patients.
“We are delighted to be working with Amplia in the development of its unique FAK inhibitors as potential new anti-fibrotic treatments for patients with pancreatic cancer or other fibrotic diseases.”
Under the terms of the collaboration agreement, which has an initial term of 2 years, Amplia will receive first rights to participate in research projects relating to the use of FAK inhibitors in combination with other therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer.
As part of the research and licence agreement, Amplia agrees to fund studies of the use of AMP945 in combination with gemcitabine / Abraxane® for the treatment of cancer, with an initial focus on pancreatic cancer.
The company will also receive first rights to new intellectual property arising from the collaboration.