A trial of Noxopharm's (ASX: NOX) prostate cancer treatment has delivered a "high response" in men with end-stage cancer, sending the company's stocks up this morning.
According to NOX, a trial of the company's LuPIN drug combination has delivered a high anti-cancer response, resulting in a "major" survival outcome in men who have exhausted effective treatment options.
In addition, the treatment, which combines NOX's clinical-trial stage Veyonda drug and Novartis' radiopharmaceutical drug luteium-PSMA-617, is well tolerated by patients.
These positive results have been welcomed by the company's CEO Dr Graham Kelly.
"All in all, we see this result as heralding a new era in the treatment of Stage 4 prostate cancer," Kelly said.
In the LuPIN study, 46 per cent of men were able to complete the full six cycles of treatment.
"This is important from a commercial point of view because the ability to administer up to six cycles of the Novartis radiopharmaceutical over a treatment course of about 7-8 months is dependent on PSA levels continuing to indicate a response to treatment," Kelly said.
"Getting almost half of the men to receive a full six cycle treatment course carries important clinical and commercial implications."
Kelly said the exact degree of the survival benefit the drug combination is providing will require a placebo-controlled study.
However, the clinical-stage drug development company says given men with Stage 4 prostate cancer have very limited survival prospects, having half of the men in the LuPIN study survive at least 19.7 months, with 19 of the 56 still alive, is a "remarkable outcome pointing to a major anti-cancer effect".
The company is still looking into how the two drugs are joining to produce this anti-cancer effect.
At this stage, NOX's working hypothesis is that the LuPIN effect of Veyonda is an oncotoxic effect via two mechanisms.
"First, by blocking cell division, it is holding cancer cells at a point in their cycle where their DNA is most susceptible to the damaging effects of the lutetium radiation," Kelly said.
"Second, by blocking the repair of the damaged DNA, the damaged cell then self-destructs."
Today's news comes as Noxopharm is in the midst of its fifth and final stage of a COVID-19 treatment trial.
The study is looking at the efficacy of Noxopharm's Veyonda drug in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, with a final cohort of patients in the US currently receiving the drug.
The listed medtech will be reporting formally on the efficacy of Veyonda in due course, with the overall objective being to use the drug to block the cytokine release syndrome (or the so-called 'cytokine storm') that leads to COVID-19 patients requiring intensive care.
Shares in NOX are up 5.43 per cent to $0.97 per share at 11.12am AEDT.
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