Q BioMed Inc (OTCQB:QBIO) and India-based research organization Chemveda Life Sciences said Tuesday that the "successful chemical synthesis" of a unique natural compound has shown remarkable ability as a potential chemotherapy for the treatment of liver cancer.
In a statement, the biotech accelerator said this significantly advances its portfolio asset Uttroside-B, an investigational treatment for liver cancer which is in pre-clinical development.
The company said additional “confirmatory cell line efficacy data from current testing” is expected to be completed in the next few weeks. The collaboration will advance Q BioMed’s Uttroside-B and its derivatives as a potential chemotherapeutic agent against hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer.
Uttroside-B, is a potent saponin, or chemical compound found in the Solanum nigrum Linn, or Black Nightshade shrub. The compound isolated from the leaves of the Solanum nigrum Linn plant are widely used in traditional medicine and viewed as a rich source of anti-cancer molecules.
"Having a synthetic molecule and several derivatives to work with now makes the ultimate production of a clinical drug candidate possible,” said Q BioMed CEO Denis Corin in a statement.
“Along with our collaborators in the project, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and the Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology, we will now advance the most promising candidates into preclinical testing and validation over the next few months in anticipation of an Orphan Drug application and an investigational new drug application clinical program in early 2020."
According to a preclinical study, Uttroside-B, is 10 times more cytotoxic to a liver cancer cell line, than sorafenib, the only drug approved by the Food and Drug Administration for treating liver cancer so far.
Hyderabad, India-based Chemveda Life Sciences CEO Bheema Paraselli noted that obtaining Uttroside B, even in tiny milligrams from its natural source, is very "challenging."
“Our Chemveda scientists achieved the first total synthesis of the molecule, which can now be scaled in large quantities for clinical development and ultimate drug product,” said Paraselli.
“Uttroside is one of the most complex natural products we have seen and worked on. We are very glad to have achieved this significant scientific milestone and look forward to ensuring its pre-clinical and clinical success in the fight against liver cancer."
Around 42,000 new liver cancer cases are diagnosed every year in the US alone, with around three-quarters of those people dying as a direct result of the disease.
Contact Uttara Choudhury at [email protected]
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