Drug development company Noxopharm (ASX: NOX) is growing more optimistic about the use of its Veyonda treatment on patients with late-stage prostate cancer.

NOX provided an interim update on its DARRT-1 clinical trial, where patients are given chemotherapy in conjunction with Veyonda.

The company is looking for evidence that the combination will promote an anti-cancer response in tumours throughout the body, following radiation treatment on just one or two specific tumours.

Today’s news gave NOX shares some momentum, although the stock is still down from its May highs above 65 cents:

Staying on track

The objective of the trial is focused on improving pain relief and longer survival times for patients in palliative care.

At this stage, Noxopharm said it’s “on track to achieve” those goals, reporting that cancer progression was blocked in 80 per cent of patients over a six-month trial period.

Almost three quarters of patients also reported a reduction in pain levels — a success rate Noxopharm described as “clinically significant”.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Gisela Mautner said the results were encouraging, particularly given the patients in the trial were “at the end of their treatment journey with no further treatment option available”.

Mautner added that the treatment was well-tolerated, with easily manageable side effects.

The trial is phased in nature, with 11 patients now reporting six-month results and another 11 set to reach the six-month mark within the next three to four weeks.

Executive Chairman Dr Graham Kelly said the results indicate that the Veyonda treatment could be applicable for a wide range of cancers.

The company is now planning for a Phase II clinical trial early next year in the US and Europe, “with a view to it being the study that leads to submission for marketing approval”.

In other ASX health news today

Immuno-oncology company Imugene (ASX: IMU) provided an update on pre-clinical trials for the CF33 oncolytic virus technology, that IMU plans to exclusively licence the patents for (subject to shareholder approval in November). The company said it was optimistic about recent tests carried out at City of Hope, a private cancer-research centre in California, and is aiming for Phase I clinical trials to commence in 2020.

To pot stocks, and medical cannabis company Botanix Pharmaceuticals Limited (ASX:BOT) announced it has entered into a supply agreement with the US-based Purisys. The deal with cover Botanix’s requirements for “immediate clinical and future commercial supplies of synthetic cannabidiol active pharmaceutical ingredient”. Shares in BOT were up 5.3 per cent to 24.75 cents.

And THC Global Group Limited (ASX:THC) said it continues to build out its distribution footprint in New Zealand, which it said has a more favourable regulatory backdrop for medicinal cannabis than Australia. Investors sent THC shares 3.85 per cent higher to 40.5 cents, down from a 12-month high of 60 cents reached in April.