Celleron Therapeutics, which specializes in the development of personalized medicines for patients with cancer, announced that significant clinical activity was observed in the first human trial of its innovative cancer treatment, CXD101, in patients at Oxford’s Churchill Hospital with advanced, aggressive and treatment-resistant forms of the disease, including lymphoma. Results also indicate that CXD101 has a favorable tolerability and safety profile.
“These results provide early clinical evidence that CXD101 is active against late stage cancer,” Professor Nick La Thangue, founder and chief scientist at Celleron Therapeutics and a professor of Cancer Biology in the Department of Oncology at Oxford University, said in a news release. “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.”
CXD101 works by blocking enzymes in the body called histone deacetylases, and belongs to the class of histone deacetylase inhibitors or HDAC inhibitors. Cells need these enzymes to grow and divide, and blocking them may stop cancer growth.
One the greatest challenges in developing new cancer drugs is that patients respond differently to treatment, making it difficult to know which approach is best and which treatments are best avoided, as they are unlikely to offer any benefit, for a given patient.
For this reason, clinical trials with CXD101 are examining not only the new drug’s properties but are also a new biomarker test — called companion diagnostic — that intends to predict which patients could be successfully treated by this class of drug. “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,” said Dr. John Whittaker, Celleron’s chief operating officer.
Professor Mark Middleton, the trial’s chief investigator and clinical director at Oxford’s Department of Oncology, added, “Whilst there’s a lot more work to be done, seeing patients benefit from CXD101 encourages us to study this exciting drug further. … It provides a way to bring new drugs to our patients, which might otherwise not happen.”
This trial results from the exclusive collaboration of the Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the Oxford Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre, and Celleron Therapeutics.