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Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) - Chief Executive Officer, Dr Graham Kelly - The Market Herald
Chief Executive Officer, Dr Graham Kelly
Source: The Australian
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  • Noxopharm (NOX) has pocketed $4.6 million from the Federal Government's research and develop (R&D) tax rebate scheme
  • The scheme is designed to support small businesses taking on important R&D work across Australia
  • Noxopharm is developing its Veyonda drug as an anti-cancer treatment and a treatment for cytokine release syndrome (CRS)/septic shock
  • Veyonda is designed to bring about an immune system response to tumours that have not been naturally recognised by the body
  • Noxopharm management says today's government tax rebate bolsters an already strong balance sheet ahead of a "busy and exciting year"
  • Shares in Noxopharm fell a slight 2.04 per cent today to close at 72 cents each

Noxopharm (NOX) has pocketed $4.6 million from the Federal Government's research and develop (R&D) tax rebate scheme.

The scheme is designed to support small businesses taking on R&D work that benefits the country. The $4.6 million rebate represents 43 per cent of Noxopharm's total R&D spending over the 2020 financial year.

Noxopharm is developing its Veyonda drug to treat a range of cancers as well as cytokine release syndrome (CRS)/septic shock.

CRS is an inflammatory syndrome that can often be brought on by bodily infections and certain drugs. The condition, which has been highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic, can cause fevers, nausea and vomiting, head and body aches, and even organ damage.

Anti-cancer trials

Veyonda is being tested as a new drug prospect based on its ability to restore immune function to tumours — a phenomenon known as 'cold-to-hot' conversion.

Essentially, tumours can often be classified as 'hot' or 'cold' in the body. Hot tumours show signs of inflammation because the body has recognised them as a threat and sent T-cells rushing to fight the cancerous cells.

These types of tumours often respond well to immunotherapy treatment because the immune system has already recognised the tumour and is working to fight it. As such, the immunotherapy treatment simply mobilises the T-cell response and helps the cells attack the tumours.

Cold tumours, on the other hand, have not yet been infiltrated with T-cells — meaning the immune response is not working. These cells are particularly difficult to treat with immunotherapy drugs and are typically treated with traditional harmful therapies like chemo.

Veyonda, then, is designed to turn cold tumours into hot tumours, meaning less-harmful treatments can be more effective in treating them.

Noxopharm is trialling Veyonda's ability to boost tumour response rates to various treatments.

At the same time, Veyonda is being tested against CRS/septic shock as a first-in-class anti-inflammatory treatment through its ability to block the immune systems' STING signalling pathway.

Noxopharm management said today's government tax rebate bolsters an already strong balance sheet ahead of a "busy and exciting year".

"This provides a very welcome non-dilutionary form of funding in the quest to see Veyonda become a standard of care treatment across most forms of cancer," said Noxopharm CEO Dr Graham Kelly.

"We also have growing confidence in Veyonda proving to be a safe and effective preventative of septic shock, a major community problem highlighted by the current pandemic, but separately responsible for some ten million deaths per annum," he said.

Shares in Noxopharm fell a slight 2.04 per cent today to close at 72 cents each. The company has a $198 million market cap.

NOX by the numbers
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