Drug firm Dr Reddy's Laboratories (DRL) today said its wholly owned arm Aurigene Discovery Technologies plans to initiate phase II clinical trials of oral small molecule CA-170 that targets cancer. The trials will be conducted at various sites in India, Dr Reddy's said in a filing to BSE. Commenting on the development, Aurigene CEO CSN Murthy said: "Together with Curis, we have designed a phase II trial in selected populations of patients of interest in the CA-170 programme to be treated at major cancer centres in India". Curis Inc is a biotechnology firm focused on the development and commercialisation of drug candidates for the treatment of cancer. The company is Aurigene's collaborator and licensee of CA-170. Aurigene's decision to sponsor and fund this trial is further affirmation of the commitment to CA-170 and a reflection of the successful collaboration it has with Curis in multiple development programmes, he added. Aurigene has the commercial rights to the programme in India and Russia in addition to milestones, royalties and other commercial supply rights globally, Murthy said. "Evidence of tumour shrinkage and multiple patients remaining on drug treatment for extended periods, along with signals for biomarkers of immune modulation in patient blood and tumour samples, tells us the programme continues to move in the right direction", Curis President & CEO Ali Fattaey said. Phase I trials of CA-170 were conducted in the US, South Korea and Spain.
The phase II trials are result of the initial safety data and preliminary evidence of clinical benefit observed in the trial, the statement said. The ability for cancer patients to administer a potential checkpoint inhibitor on their own as a once daily oral drug is a significant and unique opportunity, CA-170 Phase 1 trial investigator and Melanoma Clinical Research Director at the UCSF Helen Diller Family Comprehensive Cancer Center Adil Daud said. The initial clinical results are encouraging and merit continued development, he added.
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