Q BioMed Inc (OTCMKTS:QBIO) said Wednesday that it is “very pleased” to continue its teamwork with Hyderabad, India-based Chemveda Life Sciences on Uttroside-B, a type of chemical compound found in the Black Nightshade shrub, which has shown great potential as a treatment for liver cancer.
The New York City-based biotech said that while it is focused on the commercial rollout of its cancer bone-pain drug Strontium89, it will also advance Uttroside-B as “another important asset” in its portfolio and move it quickly towards monetization.
The company noted that the efficacy of Uttroside-B, a potent saponin, against liver cancer was demonstrated in a preclinical study published in the November 2016 issue of Scientific Reports.
In the study, researchers showed that in animal models, Uttroside-B was ten times more cytotoxic to the HepG2 liver cancer cell line than sorafenib, the only drug approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for liver cancer at the time, and the current first-line treatment for hepatocellular carcinoma.
Uttroside-B drastically shrunk tumors in mice bearing human liver cancer xenografts. In addition, in preclinical experiments Uttroside-B induced cytotoxicity in all liver cancer cell lines, and researchers were also able to confirm its biological safety, both by in vitro and in vivo studies, the company noted.
In a statement, Q BioMed CEO Denis Corin said: "Having successfully completed a very challenging synthesis program, we are pleased to be able to advance this important asset towards the clinic and the patients we hope to treat. Liver cancer incidence rates have more than tripled since 1980, while the death rates have more than doubled during this time.”
He added: “More than 800,000 people are diagnosed with this cancer each year throughout the world and it accounts for more than 700,000 deaths annually. New, more effective treatments for these patients is vital and we are encouraged by the early data we have seen with our molecule."
Q BioMed and its partners in the project, the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and The Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology (RGCB), will now advance the most promising candidate into preclinical testing and validation over the next few months in anticipation of an Orphan Drug application and an Investigational New Drug (IND) application for a clinical program.
The company said Uttroside B technology is covered by a provisional patent application.
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