Clinical stage drug company Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) has today announced a potential breakthrough in its LuPIN study to treat stage-4 prostate cancer patients.

The LuPIN study involves men with late-stage metastatic prostate cancer, where the radiotherapy lutetium-PSMA-617 drug developed by Novartis is injected intravenously, in combination with Noxopharm’s proprietary drug Veyonda.

Noxopharm announced that the LuPIN study has “delivered a high anti-cancer response, resulting in a major survival outcome in men who have exhausted effective treatment options.”

The study concluded that 46% of the 56 men enrolled in the clinical trials were able to complete the full six cycles of treatment. This is significant from a commercial point of view, as the ability to administer up to six cycles of the Novartis radiopharmaceutical drug over a 7-8 months period is dependent on prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels continuing – which indicates that the patients are responding to the treatment.

The study also reported that the median overall survival (MOS) for the 56 participants in the LuPIN study was 19.7 months. Having nearly half of the men surviving for at least 19.7 months – with 19 of of the 56 men still alive – was a major breakthrough considering that men with late stage prostate cancer who have exhausted standard treatments usually have very limited survival prospects.

The company says that the LuPIN effect of Veyonda produces an oncotoxic effect via two mechanisms – by blocking further cell division, and by blocking the repair of the damaged DNA, where it will subsequently self destruct.

Noxopharm notes that combining its Veyonda drug with Novartis’ experimental radiopharmaceutical PSM-617 drug is still a subject of ongoing studies. However Noxopharm CEO, Dr Graham Kelly, was optimistic, saying the result heralded “a new era in the treatment of Stage 4 prostate cancer”.

The Noxopharm share price has been on a tear, gaining over 280% in the last 12 months. The momentum in the share price has been underpinned by developments in its Veyonda drug, with two concurrent studies on the drug – the LuPIN and the DARRT studies – being conducted at the same time.



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