• Rhythm partners with the Baker Institute to expand cancer program
  • Island Pharma gets ethics approval in the US


Rhythm Biosciences (ASX:RHY) will advance a development program into additional cancers after appointing the Baker Institute as second bioanalytical partner.

The Baker Institute has been engaged to advance proof of concept for Rhythm’s second cancer program.

The Institute is an independent, globally renowned medical research facility, with a history spanning more than 96 years.

It focuses on diagnosis, prevention and treatment of diabetes, cardiovascular disease and associated metabolic diseases.

Rhythm has tapped Baker after identifying a number of other markets where it can leverage its validated cancer diagnostics technology platform.

In July, Rhythm announced its first bioanalytical partner, Agilex Biolabs (owned by Healius Ltd (ASX:HLS)), who was engaged to support the development of the first cancer program.

Rhythm is focused on developing simple, affordable and highly accurate blood tests for the detection of cancer for global mass-market screening.

The company’s initial product, ColoSTAT, is a diagnostics test targeting colorectal cancer.

The Australian market alone represents over 7 million people, over the age of 50, that are eligible for colorectal cancer screening.

“Rhythm is in a great position being on the cusp of initial market entry for its colorectal cancer blood test, and in parallel assessing options on how to leverage the technology platform into other cancers,” said CEO Glenn Gilbert.

Island gets the nod to start Phase 2a trial

Island Pharma (ASX:ILA) announced that an Institutional Review Board approval has been granted for the ISLA-101 Phase 2a PEACH1 clinical trial, to be undertaken at SUNY Upstate University in New York.

The approval has been provided, pending clearance of Island’s Investigational New Drug (IND) application by the US FDA.

The IND is currently in the final stage of completion, and is expected to be filed in December.

The PEACH study is a Phase 2a randomised, double blind, placebo-controlled study for the prophylactic examination of an antiviral in a dengue challenge model.

Institutional Review Board approval in the US is analogous to Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) approval in Australia.

It is an important regulatory requirement, necessary for trial commencement.

“This is another important box that we have ticked in the lead-up to the start of the trial, and one that puts us in good stead for once we have an open IND,” said Island’s CEO, Dr David Foster.

“The company will keep investors across progress as it nears closer to the commencement of the Phase 2a ISLA-101 clinical trial.”


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