Stem cell anticancer drug clinical trials begin
Clinical trials have begun to test a stem cell drug with the potential to significantly increase the lifespan and survival rates of cancer patients, its manufacturer says.
The trial of BNC101, a metastatic colorectal cancer drug produced by South Australian biopharmaceutical company Bionomics, will take place at specialist centers across Australia. Up to 60 patients will be enrolled in the 15-month trial, designed to test the safety and efficacy of the drug.
“We’ve got data that shows BNC101 could potentially be used in other cancers like pancreatic cancer, breast cancer and lung cancer so we do believe there is broad applicability,” said Deborah Rathjen, Bionomics chief executive officer and managing director Deborah Rathjen, Ph.D.
BNC101 is a highly specific monoclonal antibody to LGR5 that targets cancer stem cells by blocking key stem cell survival signals downstream of LGR5. The clinical strategy is to use BNC101 in combination with standard-of-care chemotherapy to inhibit cancer stem cell activity and/or directly eliminate cancer stem cells.
As a result, BNC101 is proposed to significantly increase the duration of response and survival compared to current standard-of-care therapies for colorectal cancer.
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