Cancer and fibrosis fighter Amplia Therapeutics (ASX:ATX) has just received approval from a second ethics committee to conduct the company’s Phase 2 clinical trial of its Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK) inhibitor, AMP945.

The approval was received from the Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), following the announcement of the first approval in April.

The green light received today will allow Amplia to accelerate recruitment into the Phase 2 trial, where the AMP945 drug will be studied for its effects on patients with advanced pancreatic cancer.

Earlier results have shown that the addition of AMP945 pre-treatment to standard care gemcitabine/Abraxane chemotherapy regimen increased survival rates in an animal model by 33%.

In that study, cancer cells derived from a human pancreas cancer were transplanted into the pancreas of laboratory mice.

Once pancreatic tumours were established, mice were treated either with gemcitabine/Abraxane, or AMP945 in combination with gemcitabine/Abraxane.

When intermittent oral doses of Amplia’s AMP945 were added to gemcitabine/Abraxane, survival increased by 33% compared to gemcitabine/Abraxane alone.

The results clearly showed that AMP945 increases survival in this model, and is likely superior to other FAK inhibitors the company has tested.

“Our focus is now on timely recruitment and execution of a high-quality trial that will support our future development plans for AMP945 in this very dangerous disease,” said Dr John Lambert, Amplia’s CEO.


Amplia share price today:



Fertility company Virtus Limited (ASX:VRT) has provided a Q3 FY22 trading update, in conjunction with the current acquisition process.

Virtus is being acquired by UK based private equity firm, CapVest, in a deal worth $706m.

Shareholders of Virtus will get $8.25 a share each (current share price is $8.16), which comes after a bidding war with local investor BGH Capital which offered $7.10 each last December.

In today’s Q3 update, Virtus said revenue growth was down 1.6% for the quarter, and EBITDA was also down by almost 30%.

Virtus says this is caused by seasonality, which typically sees May and June contribute more strongly to profitability.

The company argues the 10 months to 30 April does not necessarily represent the profile for the full year earnings.


Virtus share price today: