Kazia Therapeutics Limited (ASX: KZA) caters to the health care sector and is based out of Sydney, Australia. It is a bio-tech company which focusses on innovative oncology. The company aims to bring out diversified portfolio of new cancer therapies. For this purpose, it partners up with researchers and drug developers across the globe.
Currently, the company has two drug development candidates (clinical-stage) - TRX-E-002-1 and GDC-008. Currently undergoing a phase I clinical trial in the United States and Australia, TRX-E-002-1 (Cantrixil) is investigated to treat ovarian cancer. The company’s lead program is its new drug, GDC-0084, which received its License in late 2016 from Genentech and entered the phase II clinical trial in 2018. US FDA granted GDC-0084 an orphan designation for glioblastoma in early 2018. It is a small molecule inhibitor of the PI3K / mTOR / AKT pathway, developed for the treatment of glioblastoma multiforme. This is, perhaps the most aggressive, yet common form of primary brain cancer in adults. Recently in May 2019, the drug’s initial safety data was released. The efficacy data is most likely to be released in 2H 2019.
GDC-0084 works by switching off a critical control mechanism, driving many types of cancer (Source: Company’s report)
On 20th May 2019, the company announced that it had entered into a collaboration with the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation. Alliance would start a multi-centre phase II study, with the aim to investigate and derive the potential use of GDC-0084. Besides, it would also take other cancer therapies into its radar, to cure brain metastases.
Almost 30% of patients with metastatic cancer form secondary tumours in their brain. The US alone has close to 200,000 new cases of the disease each year. Priscilla Brastianos, MD, Principal Investigator of the study, and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School admitted that there should be better treatment options for patients suffering from the disease and hopes that the study would provide optimism in this research.
The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology is a cancer related research hub (sponsored by National Cancer Institute of the United States). Alliance involves almost 10,000 physicians in Canada and the United States. To reduce cancer impact, it unites scientists and medical professionals from various disciplines who together discover, validate and disseminate effective and efficient strategies to prevent and treat the disease.
As per their genetic profiles of the tumour, patients would be categorized to receive either abemaciclib (Eli Lilly), entrectinib (Genentech), or GDC-0084 (Kazia Therapeutics). The Alliance study (A071701), is expected to recruit 150 patients to be tested. KZA would provide finances along with a study drug to Alliance, who would lead this trial. Dealing with different forms of brain cancer, this study would be the fourth among the ongoing clinical trials with the new investigational drug, GDC-0084.
Number of ongoing trials with GDC-0084 (Source: Company’s report)
The study would take almost 2 years to complete. Recruitment for it is expected to commence in the second half of 2019.
The stock last traded at A$0.450 (As on 20th May 2019).
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