Australian clinical-stage drug development company, Noxopharm (ASX: NOX), is pleased to announce that a discovery by Weill Cornell Medical College in New York, recently published in the prestigious scientific journal, Nature Immunology, significantly validates the novel DARRT anti-cancer treatment of its drug candidate, Veyonda®, in producing radiation-induced abscopal responses, regarded by many as the ultimate form of treatment for metastatic cancer.
An abscopal response — an extraordinarily rare and elusive phenomenon — can follow the delivery of a low dose of radiation to a single tumor, triggering an immune response that results in other tumors throughout the body “melting” away in a matter of weeks. Patients who experience a complete abscopal response generally remain in remission for life. The radiation-induced abscopal response is highly prized as being the most cost-effective, least intrusive, and best-tolerated form of immuno-oncology therapy.
The Weill Cornell team identified radiation-induced damage to the cancer cells, and blocking their repair by a process known as autophagy, as fundamental to generating the abscopal response.
The active ingredient in Veyonda, idronoxil, is known to block autophagy.
“For the overwhelming majority of patients, once a cancer spreads from its point of origin and becomes metastatic, the best that current treatments offer is to delay the inevitable,” said Graham Kelly, Noxopharm CEO and managing director. “But the clinical data shows that Veyonda very clearly is boosting the chances of triggering an abscopal response. The Weill Cornell discovery, combined with what we learned from the DARRT-1 study about Veyonda dosing, means we go into the upcoming DARRT-2 study with a high degree of confidence that we are on the edge of a major breakthrough in cancer therapy.”
Noxopharm will now test the ability of Veyonda to induce abscopal effects in a Phase II study involving about 200 patients. DARRT-2 is a Phase II multinational study, currently being planned for a start in early 2021.
Noxopharm is a clinical-stage Australian oncology drug development company with offices in Sydney and New York. The company has a primary focus on the development of Veyonda® and is the major shareholder in the non-oncology drug development company, Nyrada Inc.