Deal struck for production of anti-cancer drug for clinical trials

LISTED drug developer Redx Pharma has struck a deal with a fellow a Cheshire company to supply its Porcupine inhibitor – which tackles hard-to-treat cancers for clinical trials.

Porcupine (RXC004) battles pancreative, triple negative breast and head and neck cancers. First in-human studies are expected to start early in 2017.

The deal is with Quay Pharma which will manufacture RXC004.

The novel, potent small molecule Porcupine inhibitor targets the Wnt pathway, an embryonic signalling pathway implicated in the maintenance of cancer stem cells associated with tumorigenesis, metastasis, recurrence and resistance in several types of cancer.

It will have the potential to be taken orally by patients as a once daily dose.
Deeside-based Quay is a specialist in contract development, manufacturing and packaging services to the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. It will be formulating the capsules that will be administered in Redx’s trial.

Neil Murray, chief executive of Redx, said: “We are pleased to confirm that we remain on track to enter the clinical trial phase for our Porcupine program in the first quarter of 2017.

“Our Porcupine inhibitor is an especially exciting clinical candidate, both scientifically and commercially.

“Less than 10% of pancreatic cancer patients survive five years from their diagnosis.  The potential for this new class of drugs to tackle such difficult cancers could see a significant advance for patients who have few meaningful treatment options today.”

Maireadh Pedersen, chief executive of Quay Pharma, said: “We are delighted that Redx has selected Quay Pharma based upon our formulation development expertise, unparalleled flexibility and successful track record of delivering clinical trial supplies on time. We look forward to a successful collaboration with the team at Redx on their lead project in this important indication.”