Drug discovery firm’s leukaemia treatment breakthrough
DRUG discovery and development company Redx Pharma has unveiled a major breakthrough in treatment for leukaemia and other blood cancers.
The listed company, based at Alderley Park in Cheshire, says it has reached pre-clinical proof of concept on a reversible BTK inhibitor, which offers “exciting potential” to treat Chronic Lymphocytic Leukaemia (CLL), one of the most common types of leukaemia in adults, not usually curable.
BTK (Bruton’s Tyrosine Kinase) is an important enzyme in the B-cell receptor signalling pathway and is implicated in blood cancers such as CLL.
Chief executive Neil Murrary said: “We are delighted to announce we have reached pre-clinical proof of concept for an oncology lead that has the potential to treat leukaemia and other blood cancers.
“CLL is one of the most common types of leukaemia in adults and is not usually curable, with high rates of recurrence.
“What is particularly exciting about our lead compound, a reversible BTK inhibitor, is that it has the potential to treat ibrutinib (a key therapy for CLL suffers) resistant CLL patients.
“As many as 60% of patients with progressive CLL have developed a resistance to ibrutinib. This presents an urgent need for new treatments that overcome the issue of resistance and Redx is seeking to develop a best-in-class reversible inhibitor specifically designed to meet this need.”
Meanwhile, the company has also published its interim results for the six months ended March 31.
Highlights include Porcupine, an inhibitor for hard-to-treat cancers, such as pancreatic, triple negative breast and head and neck cancers.
There has also been proof of concept established with a lead compound which has the potential to treat gonorrhoea, one of the most common sexually transmitted infections globally.
Redx said its H1 financial performance was in line with management expectations. Net cash at March 31 was £4.4m (H1 2015: £13.8m), losses were £7.1m (H1 2015: £3.2m) and the company completed a successful share placing to raise £10m in April after the period end.
Murray said the fundraise “leaves us well-positioned to build on our pipeline progress and grow the business”.