Bionomics Limited (ASX: BNO) is a bio-pharma company under the health care sector based out in Thebarton, Australia. The company is engaged in developing better treatments for cancer, central nervous system disorders (including anxiety and depression), and Alzheimer’s disease. The company is leveraging its technology to discover and develop novel drug candidate. Its BNC210 drug, which is a proprietary negative allosteric modulator of the alpha-7, is currently in Phase 2 for the treatment of agitation in elderly people. BNO has a strategic alliance with Merck & Company Inc. Merck is an American pharmaceutical company also known as Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) outside the US and Canada.
Today, the company has announced that it has started with the clinical trial of BNC105 in combination with the nivolumab in patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. It is a part of its experimental phase II clinical trial of cancer drugs. The Australasian Gastro-Intestinal Trials Group (AGITG) along with Bristol-Myers Squibb is conducting the test.
BNC105 is a drug having direct anti-cancer activity using several different mechanisms such as activation of acute tumor hypoxia for the destruction of tumor blood vessels, induction of cancer cell death, prevention and elimination of tumor growth, modulation of the tumor microenvironment, and the amplification of the immune response.
Bristol-Myers Squibb is a bio-pharma company aiming towards helping patients prevail over serious diseases. Its Programmed Death-1 immune checkpoint inhibitor, Nivolumab, is designed to harness the body’s immune system. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has approved Nivolumab for the treatment of cancer in Australia.
The MODULATE trial will find out the combined impact of BNC105 and nivolumab in the treatment of advanced colorectal cancer patients. One group consisting of about 45% of patients, will be given BNC105 along with nivolumab. While the other group also comprises about 45% of patients. It will be treated with nivolumab in combination with a Signal Transduction Activator of Transcription (STAT3) inhibitor. The first visit of the first patient was conducted on 21 September 2018.
Although Immunotherapy is one of the best treatments for several cancers as it uses patient’s immune system to target and attacks a cancer tumour, the MODULATE trial aims to investigate whether BNC105 will provide a new treatment option for patients with colorectal cancer. The administration of BNC105 with anti-PD-1 antibodies has led to a synergistic reduction in tumour size.
Further, the company has also announced that it will be attending two upcoming events in San Francisco. The second Neuroscience Innovation Forum which will be held on 6 January 2019 at the Marine’s Memorial Club has attracted Key Opinion Leaders and experts and offers numerous partnering meeting opportunities. The Biotech Showcase 2019 which will take place from 8 January to 10 January 2019 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square is expected to be filled with over 3,600 attendees, including 400 presenting companies and over 900 investors.
Over the past one year, the stock price has plunged by 75.25% falling from 40 cents on 3 January 2018 to 9.9 cents yesterday. Post the clinical trial announcement today, the scrip price has soared by 11.111% and closed at 11 cents per share, as compared to the previous close of 9.9 cents.
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