Drug discovery and development company e-Therapeutics (LON:ETX) is to start a US phase I clinical trial for its brain cancer drug ETS2101.
The trial is one of two studies scheduled for the drug, with a larger, UK-based trial studying the drug in patients with a variety of tumour types also starting shortly.
The US phase I trial is enrolling up to 24 brain cancer patients with primary brain cancer, called glioma, or cancer that has spread to the brain from other sites. First findings are expected in late 2012.
ETS2101 works by overcoming cancer cells’ ability to evade apoptosis, which is the mechanism where cells normally self-destruct if they become dysfunctional.
It said it decided to also run a brain cancer trial because ETS2101 has shown it can cross between the circulating blood and the central nervous system fluid in the brain, unlike many current cancer drugs.
The primary objective of the trial is to evaluate safety and to determine an appropriate dose for phase II studies.
Development director, Steve Self, said: “Advancing ETS2101 into trials was one of our key goals following last year’s refinancing and refocusing of our business.We look forward with interest to seeing the first results from the clinic.”
e-Therapeutics currently has three clinical candidates, spanning cancer, infectious diseases, such as hospital infection bug and MRSA, and psychiatric disorders.
e-Therapeutics uses its network pharmacology platform for drug discovery, which looks at all the effects a molecule might have on all the networks in the cell, unlike other methods which just target single proteins.