Neovia Oncology has enrolled its first patient into a Phase 1 clinical trial for its lead cancer drug NEV-801, a novel, multi-inhibitor drug able to enhance immunotherapy response in patients with advanced drug-resistant cancers.
During its pre-clinical proof-of-concept studies, NEV-801 showed exciting potential, including curative effects, to treat Chronic Myeloid Leukemia that had become resistant to the gold-standard therapy (imatinib), as well as advanced colon cancer that had become resistant to multiple therapies. No bonemarrow toxicity or gastro-intestinal side effects were observed at the highest administered doses in preclinical studies.
The clinical trial will be run by principal investigators at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, Boston; and Sarah Cannon Research Institute, Nashville.
Immunotherapy rarely controls clinically significant tumors that fail to express target antigens, and thereby fail to elicit an effective immune response. However, there is mounting evidence that tumor antigen production can be precisely stimulated to promote immune recognition and response.
NEV-801 is a simultaneous multi-inhibitor of Topoisomerase I and Topoisomerase II activity, HIF-1 transcriptional activation, and hypoxic induction of VEGF mRNA and protein expression, targeting Werner syndrome protein (WRN) (a RecQ helicase), thereby overcoming MDR gene 1-mediated resistance. The simultaneous inhibition of multiple cancer pathways forces distressed tumors to express target antigens, thereby potentially enhancing the efficacy of immunotherapy.
“Patient enrollment marks the formal beginning of a clinical trial and so we are excited to get underway after much preparation and hard work by our team,” said Trevor Blake, Co-founder and CEO, “This is the first program to have advanced through Neovia’s innovative development pipeline that includes more than 60 potential drugs. It represents a milestone in the transition of the company from pre-clinical to clinicalstage and validates us to potential investors and partners who can now help us grow and provide more potential therapies to cancer patients.” About Neovia Oncology Neovia Oncology, founded by two successful pharmaceutical entrepreneurs, is developing safe, multiinhibitor cancer drugs that enhance immune response to overcome drug resistance. We are actively seeking partners and investors to help us expand our clinical projects and progress from a private to public company in the near future. (www.neoviaoncology.com) Neovia has locations in Seattle, USA and Beijing, China