Cancer drug trials recruitment halted by Newcastle-based e-Therapeutics

Newcastle drug discovery and development business e-Therapeutics has announced a temporary halt of recruitment into cancer trials

Professor Malcolm Young, chief executive of e-Therapeutics
Professor Malcolm Young, chief executive of e-Therapeutics

Newcastle drug discovery and development business e-Therapeutics has announced a temporary halt of recruitment into cancer trials because of a “practical issue”.

The company announced progress in several areas of study last October, including its lead cancer drug, ETS2101, which is currently the company’s most important product.

Phase 1 trials in brain cancer and solid tumours initially took take place at the Sir Bobby Robson Cancer Trials Research Centre at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.

After no serious adverse events were attributed to the drug the trials were extended to two other UK centres and the UC San Diego Moores Cancer Center in La Jolla, California, where the firm was enrolling patients with a variety of solid tumours.

The Newcastle University spin-out said further recruitment of people in the trial has been temporarily stopped because of a practical issue with stored drug for the trials, but that patients already receiving treatment with the drug will continue to be dosed in line with trial protocols.

The firm said relevant regulators are being notified and the company is taking steps to enable recruitment to resume as soon as possible.

A report of data from the UK study had been expected in the first quarter but this may now be delayed by the temporary halt in recruitment.

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