Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) - Chief Commercial Officer, Alexander Hunter
Chief Commercial Officer, Alexander Hunter
Sourced: Noxopharm
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  • Noxopharm (NOX) has received final ethics approval to commence its IONIC-1 trial immediately in Australian hospitals immediately
  • The NSW-based clinical-stage drug development company is focused on the treatment of cancer and septic shock
  • The company will recruit around 30 cancer patients for the phase 1b trial
  • NOX, will test a combination of its pipeline drug candidate Veyonda with Bristol Myers Squibb’s drug Opdivo (nivolumab) to treat a range of tumour types
  • The study aims to determine whether Veyonda can overcome tumour resistance to drugs such as Opidivo
  • NOX anticipates that a successful trial would expand the multi-billion-dollar drug sector considerably
  • Noxopharm shares are down 0.73 per cent, trading at 68 cents each

Noxopharm (NOX) has received final ethics approval to commence its IONIC-1 trial in Australian hospitals.

The clinical-stage drug developer, which is based in New South Wales, is focused on the treatment of cancer and septic shock.

The company is recruiting around 30 cancer patients for the phase 1b trial, which is set to commence immediately.

NOX, together with biopharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb (BMS), will be testing a combination of Veyonda with BMS’s immune checkpoint inhibitor, Opdivo (nivolumab), for the treatment of a range of tumour types.

The company says immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI), such as nivolumab, have generated spectacular results in some patients with a small number of cancer types but remain inactive in most other forms of the disease.

The latest study will explore whether adding Veyonda to ICI therapy can overcome a tumour’s resistance to nivolumab and thereby increase patients’ responsiveness to the treatment.

Medical oncologist Professor Paul de Souza, is the principal investigator of the trial. He said “The potential of this trial to bring effective checkpoint inhibitor treatment to a broader range of patients is an exciting prospect.”

“If we’re able to enhance the effect of BMS’s nivolumab with Veyonda, this will bring some truly life-changing treatment to cancer patients’ lives and will change the way that cancer is treated worldwide,” Professor de Souza added.

Testing will be conducted in two cohorts; one comprising patients who have not received previous nivolumab treatment because they have cancers considered unsuitable for ICI-use, and another including patients whose cancers have previously displayed resistance to the treatment.

The trial endpoints will include safety and tolerability of the drug combination, efficacy based on regular scans, and the treatment’s effect on various blood biomarkers.

According to Noxopharm, the multi-billion-dollar ICI market is predicted to generate sales of up to US$45 billion (around A$58 billion) by 2025 through strong year-on-year growth.

The company forecasts that increasing the number of cancer types that respond to ICI therapy would expand the market even further.

Noxopharm shares are down 0.73 per cent on Friday, trading at 68 cents at 12:05 pm AEDT.

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