Oxford, UK, 1st December 2015; Celleron Therapeutics, the UK-based company developing personalised medicine for cancer patients, has today announced that significant clinical activity was observed in the first human trial of its pioneering personalised cancer treatment CXD101 in patients at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital with advanced treatment-resistant aggressive disease. The results also indicate that CXD101 has favourable safety and tolerability.
‘These results provide early clinical evidence that CXD101 is active against late stage cancer’ commented Professor Nick La Thangue, Founder and Chief Scientist, Celleron Therapeutics and Professor of Cancer Biology in the Department of Oncology at Oxford University. ‘CXD101 represents a new class of drugs with dual mode of action that not only targets tumour cells but also stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer. These are extremely encouraging and important results and we look forward to driving the clinical trials forward as fast as possible in aggressive cancers using our personalised treatment approach’.
A major challenge in drug development is that all cancer patients respond differently to treatment. Clinical trials with Celleron’s CXD101 drug are not only investigating the properties of the new drug but will also study a novel biomarker test, known as a companion diagnostic, to predict which patients can be successfully treated with the drug. This approach avoids the problem of treating patients who have little chance of benefiting from the treatment.
Dr John Whittaker, Celleron’s Chief Operating Officer commented ‘I am delighted to see Celleron, the Oxford Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and Oxford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust making excellent progress on Celleron’s proprietary targeted therapeutic, CXD101, which opens up new and exciting opportunities for treating aggressive types of cancer’.
Professor Mark Middleton, Chief Investigator for the trial and Clinical Director at the University of Oxford, Department of Oncology noted ‘Whilst there’s a lot more work to be done, seeing patients benefit from CXD101 encourages us to study this exciting drug further. The support of the Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre has been key to developing and delivering the trial. It provides a way to bring new drugs to our patients, which might otherwise not happen’.
CXD101 is a next generation epigenetic immune-regulator representing a class of drug that kills cancer cells by blocking certain vital functions involved in gene expression, and reactivates the patient’s immune system so that cancer cells can no longer evade immune recognition. The trial is a unique partnership between Celleron Therapeutics, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Oxford Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre. The Oxford ECMC is led by Associate Professor Sarah Blagden.
“CXD101 works in a completely new way and has great potential to treat many different cancers,” said Professor La Thangue. “Our previous research suggests that high levels of the HR23B protein make tumours more vulnerable to HDAC inhibitors, so we will now be putting this into practice to identify the patients who are most likely to benefit from CXD101. Any cancer could be high in HR23B, from breast cancers to blood cancers, so we are screening a broad range of patients to identify anyone who might benefit.
The trial is a unique collaboration between Celleron Therapeutics, Oxford Cancer Biomarkers, Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust and the ECMC (Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre) network. The Oxford ECMC is led by Mark Middleton, Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at Oxford University’s Department of Oncology, clinical lead for the CXD101 trial.
For more information, please contact Dr John Whittaker; telephone 0044 7860 286799.
Notes to editors
* The trial’s entry on the UK Clinical Trial’s Gateway can be found at www.ukctg.nihr.ac.uk/trialdetails/NCT01977638.
* Celleron Therapeutics is advancing a clinical and pre-clinical pipeline of personalised therapies for different cancer indications. The company has built a proprietary platform around epigenetic control and immune modulation, providing its drugs with a two pronged attack on cancer. Celleron’s approach seeks to align the right drug with the right patient enabling a personalised approach to cancer therapy. The company is a spin-out from Oxford University and located on the Oxford Science Park. For more information see www.cellerontherapeutics.com.
Conducting the majority of early-phase cancer clinical trials in the UK, Experimental Cancer Medicine Centres (ECMC’s) provide infrastructure funding to enhance the quantity and quality of research in developing new medicines to help beat cancer. Each ECMC brings together lab-based experts in cancer biology with cancer doctors to speed up the flow of ideas from the lab bench to the patient’s bedside. Launched in 2007, the network of 18 ECMC’s is jointly supported by Cancer Research UK, the National Institute for Health Research In England, and the Departments of Health of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who together, have provided £35m from 2007-2012 and a further £35m from 2012 to 2017. Find out more at www.ecmcnetwork.org.uk.