SR Pharma plc. has announced that studies at the Charité Hospital, Berlin, Germany have demonstrated the therapeutic efficacy of Atu027 RNAi in pre-clinical models of pancreatic cancer when compared to the standard care treatment.
The data showed both inhibition of cancer growth and prevention of metastatic spread, demonstrating potent efficacy and effective systemic delivery with no adverse events.
In particular Atu027 RNAi was effective in the prevention of metastases than Gemcitabine®. The anti-angiogenic treatment was feasible, safe and effective in vivo.
The growth inhibitory and anti-metastatic effects of Atu027 RNAi in the clinically relevant in vivo model fully support further development of this substance for pancreatic cancer.
A phase I clinical trial using Atu027 RNAi in patients suffering from pancreatic cancer is scheduled to start in 2007.
Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer death. With the exception of surgery in early stages, no curative treatment for this tumour exists.
Until now, only Gemcitabine® has been approved for palliative treatment. Atu RNAi will meet a large unmet medical need showing effective control of tumour growth or demonstrating tumour shrinkage.
SR Pharma has concentrated its efforts to meet this medical need by developing Atu027 RNAi.
In these pre-clinical studies treatment was with Atu027 RNAi, a modified and stabilized small interfering RNA drug, formulated in a proprietary liposomal based delivery system (AtuPLEX). Atu027 RNAi works by specifically targeting PKN3, a proprietary protein kinase target.
Prof. Bertram Wiedenmann, Director Hepatology & Gastroenterology at the Charité, Berlin, under whose supervision the studies were guided, stated: “The results of these further studies at the Charité are very encouraging for patients suffering from pancreatic cancer. The data achieved in these studies have shown significant inhibition of both cell proliferation and metastatic spread.”
Klaus Giese, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of SR Pharma, said: “The data are very encouraging and we are on track to enter the clinic with Atu027 RNAi in 2007. This product, to be delivered systemically, will be our first oncology product into the clinic using AtuPLEX, our proprietary liposomal formulation”.