The Noxopharm Ltd (ASX: NOX) share price is edging higher this afternoon and is currently trading up 2.8% at 55 cents apiece.
Shares in the drug development company are on the move after it released a key announcement regarding its lead drug candidate Veyonda.
Here’s what we know out of Noxopharm’s corner today.
What was announced?
The company advised it had received “notices of allowance” from both the Australian and European patent offices covering use of the active ingredient in Veydona, idronoxil.
Veydona is the company’s lead drug candidate currently in Phase 2 safety and efficacy clinical trials. The company has the end goal of turning the drug into a label that’s indicated in all types of cancer treatment.
Specifically, the patent governs the use of Veydona to “allow dosages of chemotherapy to be lowered to safer levels without compromising their anti-cancer effectiveness”.
This involves a particular method where Veydona is supplied with a low dose of chemotherapy drugs in the treatment of various cancers.
Noxopharm is confident the combination therapy can “deliver an even stronger anti-cancer response at the same time as offering the same benefit”.
The end result will be that Veydona may be offered as a combination therapy to patients unable to undergo full-strength chemotherapy.
The need, Noxopharm says, originates from the wide-ranging side effects of the current care standard through the use of chemotherapy compounds known as “platinum drugs”.
This category ranks among the gold standard of commonly used chemotherapy drugs.
In the population taking these platinum drugs, Noxpharm explained that adverse side effects cause a reduction in therapy in around 30% of cases. They also result in 10% of patients having to stop therapy altogether.
The company says idronoxil, through the Veydona label, purportedly enhances chemotherapy “up to a magnitude of 1,000 times…without increasing the sensitivity to healthy cells to the damaging effects of the drugs”.
This concept was proved back in April in the company’s CEP-1 study which investigated Veydona’s effects when administered this way.
A new study, CEP-2, followed further building on the results obtained from the original clinical trial. Results will be available in due course.
The patent granted today builds on other patent positions it has filed for in both radiotherapy and immunotherapy earlier in the year.
What did management say?
Speaking on the announcement, Noxopharm’s CEO Graham Kelly said:
A high proportion of cancer patients are deprived of the benefits of chemotherapies because of toxic side-effects. The development of side-effects leads to drug dosages being lowered or stopped altogether. Other patients either are too ill or too elderly or just unwilling to even start chemotherapy. That is the gap that we see Veyonda filling by allowing the patient to still gain the benefit of the chemotherapy but at dosages that are much better tolerated. With an estimated US$150 billion spent globally each year on chemotherapy, that gap represents a very major medical need and commercial opportunity.
Regarding other patent filings and the company’s growth vision, Kelly added:
Allowance of these claims is a major milestone in the Company’s aim to see Veyonda become a standard of care companion drug in oncology for chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. With the radiotherapy (ASX Announcement 27 September 2021) and immunotherapy patent positions looking strong, the allowances announced today represent an important step towards achieving that eventual aim, something that we are confident will be attractive to major pharma companies with strong chemotherapy drug portfolios.
Noxopharm share price snapshot
The Noxopharm share price has had a difficult year to date, having posted a return of 12% since January 1.
As such, it has only climbed around 9% in the last 12 months and is in the red by around 2% in the last month.
These results have lagged the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO)’s return of around 21% in the past year.