Biotech Amplia Therapeutics (ASX:ATX) was one of this morning’s biggest winners after positive clinical data.

The company has a drug fighting cancer, AMP945, that inhibits Focal Adhesion Kinase (FAK).

FAK is a protein that is over-expressed in cancer cells and fibrosis or fibrotic scarring, which is when scar tissue begins to replace normal tissue.

Amplia Therapeutics is planning a Phase II clinical trial but today released data from a clinical study in mice from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research.

The research showed adding AMP945 to existing standards of care could increase survival against pancreatic cancer by 27 per cent.

Specifically, the median survival time of untreated mice was 18 days while mice with either the therapy or AMP945 alone exhibited a survival time of 23 or 22 days respectively. Mice with both survived 28 days.


‘A level of improvement we rarely see’

Garvan’s Paul Timpson, who conducted the study, said the results in the model were impressive and “a level of improvement that we rarely see”.

Amplia Therapeutics’ CEO John Lambert also hailed the results saying his company was “strongly encouraged”.

“These data[sets] further underpin the rationale for our planned Phase 2 clinical trial in pancreatic cancer. Earlier data told us that adding AMP945 to gemcitabine and Abraxane increased cancer cell death and reduced proliferation and this new data tells us that those effects actually translate into prolonged survival.”

The company says it hopes to initiate a Phase 2 clinical trial (which looks at a drug’s efficacy albeit typically in smaller groups than a later Phase 3 trial) towards the end of the year.

This news sent shares up over 40 per cent this morning.

Amplia (ASX:ATX) share price chart