• Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to trial drug candidate paxalisib to treat lymphoma
  • Up to 25 patients in Phase 2 clinical trial that could take up to two years
  • This will be the sixth ongoing clinical trial of paxalisib in brain cancer

Kazia Therapeutics (ASX:KZA) says that world-leading cancer treatment and research centre has agreed to investigate how well Kazia’s leading drug candidate works to treat a rare form of cancer.

The Dana-Faber Cancer Institute in Boston, Massachusetts, will hold a Phase 2 study testing how well paxalisib works to treat primary central nervous system (CNS) lymphoma, which occurs when tumours develop in the lymph tissues of the brain or spinal cord.

The study will recruit up to 25 patients and take up to two years to complete.

Kazia is supporting the study with a financial grant, using funds contributed by shareholders in a $1.8 million share purchase plan held in May.

Kazia said that drugs known as PI3K inhibitors are known to work against lymphoma, but the ones on the market haven’t been tested against primary CNS lymphoma because they cannot cross the blood-brain barrier.

Paxalisib is the only PI3K inhibitor “in mainstream development” with the ability to penetrate the blood-brain barrier, Kazia said.

Patients will begin being recruited into the study early next year, Kazia said.

Five other Phase 1 and 2 studies are underway testing paxalisib against different types of brain cancers, with a Phase 2 study into using paxalisib to treat glioblastoma expected to conclude early next year.

Neuren gears up for clinical trials

Elsewhere in biotech news, Neuren Pharmaceuticals (ASX:NEU) said it has begun manufacturing its drug candidate NNZ-2591 to supply planned Phase 2 clinical trials to treat Phelan-McDermid syndrome, Angelman syndrome and Pitt Hopkins syndrome next year.

All three debilitating neurological disorders emerge in early childhood and there is no approved medicine to treat any of them.

Also, SUDA Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD) said tests in dogs have supported its efforts to create an oral spray of the drug Xagrid, which is used to treat essential thrombocytosis, the overproduction of blood platelets.

The drug is currently delivered in capsule form; SUDA believes that by turning it into a mouth spray it could be used to treat metastatic disease in patients with certain solid tumour cancers.