North East drug discovery and development company e-Therapeutics has announced a milestone step forward after enrolling its first patient into the next phase of a cancer drug trial.
The firm, a pioneer of network pharmacology with bases in Newcastle and Oxford, has announced that the first patient has been enrolled into its phase 1b programme for its cancer drug, ETS2101.
The first patient received the initial dose on May 19, and will be included in the group investigating the safety, tolerability and anti-tumour activity of ETS2101 in patients newly-diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma – the most common type of liver cancer – in combination with another treatment called Sorafenib.
As part of this programme of work, in addition to newly-diagnosed liver cancer patients, e-Therapeutics said it will be investigating ETS2101 in combination with Sorafenib for patients with newly-diagnosed pancreatic cancer.
The firm will also look into the drug as a single form of therapy for liver or pancreatic cancer patients who have relapsed, or have particularly hard to manage forms of the disease.
Steve Self, development director of e-Therapeutics said: “This marks an important milestone for ETS2101 as its development programme begins to explore aspects of this agent’s activity in specific cancer indications, alongside further aspects of dosing and safety.
“This study is directed towards further clinical development of the compound and will inform our understanding of the drug in this therapeutic area.”
In the laboratory, ETS2101 showed potent killing of all cancer cell-types tested.
To date, it has been evaluated in three Phase I trials, which showed, amongst other revelations, evidence that it can halt tumour progression as well as the potential viability of an oral dose form.
In a note to shareholders on the Stock Exchange the firm said he Phase Ib trial getting underway now is designed to explore the safety, dosing and activity of ETS2101 both as a single treatment for cancer, and in combination with standard treatments in hepatocellular carcinoma and pancreatic cancer.