The appointment of Dr Kim Agnew will support PharmaAust’s effort in its effort to progress to Phase III trials of its lead Monepantel drug.

Clinical stage oncology company, PharmAust (ASX:PAA), has appointed a highly experienced executive to become its new principal investigator for its Phase IIb veterinary clinical trial.

Dr Kim Agnew, who has 25 years of experience in the animal health industry, will replace Dr Claire Cannon, who is moving on to pursue a new veterinary services career position in the private sector.

Dr Agnew will now become the company’s principal investigator for PharmaAust’s ongoing Phase IIb Veterinary Clinical Trial testing of monepantel in pet dogs with B cell lymphoma.

The trial is entitled “The use of the anthelminthic drug Monepantel as an anticancer drug in dogs”,  and is currently being run across five sites in Perth, Sydney and Brisbane.

A strong, qualified candidate

Dr Agnew previously worked as an executive at US-based Elanco Animal Health, and France-headquartered Merial and Boehringer-Ingelheim.

He was involved in business and product development, regulatory affairs, clinical research, as well as technical support at a senior level.

Specifically, Dr Agnew’s job titles included being the ANZ research and development leader at Boehringer-Ingelheim for four years, and a research and development leader Oceania and consultant for Merial for two years.

He was also the research and regulatory manager and innovation manager, and associate director of research and development at Elanco for 18 years.

“I am very excited to be able to join the PharmAust team and the very experienced canine oncologists in contributing to such an important set of studies,” Dr Agnew stated.

“Canine lymphoma is a devastating disease for dogs and owners and I am sure that, given the team involved in these studies, the best possible data outcomes will be achieved,” he added.

PharmAust’s chief scientific officer, Dr Richard Mollard, was also happy with the new appointment, but noted that with this change, trial accruals will cease at the company’s Melbourne site.

“Dr Agnew is an ideally qualified appointment, and PharmAust looks forward to benefiting from his broad experience in industry settings.”

“Unfortunately, this change also means that accruals will cease at the Melbourne site. However, recruitment at other sites continues at pace and we do not foresee a change

in the overall timing of deliverables,” Dr Mollard concluded.

Recent critical milestone

Just two weeks ago, PharmaAust passed a critical milestone, when it announced that the Phase IIb trial of its lead candidate drug, Monepantel (MPL), has provided evidence of the blood plasma levels required to suppress B cell lymphoma growth in pet owners’ dogs.

The trial was conducted in six dogs, with the aim of providing an indicative optimal plasma level and target therapeutic dose – with PharmaAust concluding that no material adverse events were encountered during this stage of the clinical study.

This crucial development has put the company in a good position to further optimise treatment levels of MPL, as it aims to progress to a Phase III study.

This article was developed in collaboration with PharmAust, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing. 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.