The CLINUVEL Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX: CUV) share price is pushing higher on Tuesday following the release of an announcement.
At the time of writing the biopharmaceutical company’s shares are up 3% to $21.96.
What did CLINUVEL announce?
This morning the company provided an update on its plans to expand the use of its SCENESSE drug (afamelanotide 16mg) to treat xeroderma pigmentosum (XP).
XP is a disease characterised by an inborn insufficiency to repair DNA damaged by sun exposure. Patients develop frequent skin cancers from an early age, with most experiencing their first malignancy before adolescence, and must avoid all forms of UV exposure.
The disease has a high mortality rate, with a median life expectancy of 30 years. At present, XP treatment is limited to management of symptoms, in particular regular surgery to remove cancerous lesions. An estimated 1 in 450,000 individuals in Europe suffer from XP.
CLINUVEL has high hopes for SCENESSE, noting that it belongs to a group of hormones which have been shown to reduce UV-induced damage to DNA and assist in DNA regeneration.
It took a step closer towards finding out whether SCENESSE is a viable treatment for XP this morning when it announced that the first patient diagnosed with XP has been administered the drug under a Special Access Program.
Initially, the patient’s safety will be evaluated over six weeks of treatment. Following confirmation of the safety of the drug product in this patient, CLINUVEL will conduct two further studies as part of the DNA Repair Program. Both studies will evaluate the impact of treatment with SCENESSE on DNA damage and restoration.
CLINUVEL’s Clinical Operations Manager, Dr Pilar Bilbao, commented: “We seek to provide meaningful benefit to XP patients, and these results will serve a wider population of fair-skinned individuals at risk of developing skin cancers. The next 12 months will be exciting for many patients, their families, the clinical experts and our own teams.”