Evgen Pharma plc (AIM: EVG), the clinical stage drug development company developing sulforaphane based medicines for the treatment of multiple diseases, announces preclinical data demonstrating that SFX-01 was effective in in vitro models of certain blood cancers.
The data were generated by Dr Eleni Louka and Professor Adam Mead of the MRC Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine at Oxford University. The study investigated the effect of SFX-01 on cells from tissue donated by patients with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukaemia (“JMML”), through the UK Paediatric MDS/JMML study. These patients carry a specific mutation of the PTPN11 gene. The data demonstrated significant reduction of cell proliferation and increased apoptosis (cell death) of JMML stem cells in the presence of SFX-01, compared to normal controls. The study also showed that SFX-01 significantly impacted cell proliferation and increased cytotoxicity in GDM-1 cells, an Acute Myelomonocytic Leukaemia cell line (“AML”).
Whilst this is preliminary data from a small sample size, the Company was encouraged to observe a statistically significant effect in reducing cell proliferation and increasing apoptosis.
The PTPN11 gene codes for the SHP2 protein (Src homology-2 domain-containing protein tyrosine phosphatase-2). In January, Evgen announced in-vitro and in-vivo data generated by Professor Philip Eaton, Queen Mary University of London, demonstrating that SFX-01 modifies SHP2. Mutations of the PTPN11 gene are among the commonest molecular defects described in JMML patients, indicating that SFX-01 should be investigated further as a potential disease modifying agent in PTPN11-mutated haematological malignancies.
The Company is now assessing the optimal preclinical and clinical strategy for a development programme of SFX-01 in blood cancers such as JMML and AML and will update shareholders when this is completed.
Dr Huw Jones, CEO of Evgen Pharma, commented: “The data from Oxford and Queen Mary’s shows a very exciting opportunity to extend our oncology pipeline by adding blood cancers to the ongoing metastatic breast cancer and glioblastoma programmes. We are grateful to Professor Eaton, Professor Mead and Dr Louka for their thoughtful and well conducted work on these important cancers.”
About Evgen Pharma plc
Evgen Pharma is a clinical stage drug development company developing sulforaphane based medicines for the treatment of multiple diseases. The Company’s core technology is Sulforadex®, a method for synthesising and stabilising the naturally occurring compound sulforaphane and novel proprietary analogues based on sulforaphane. The lead product, SFX-01, is a patented composition of synthetic sulforaphane and alpha-cyclodextrin.
Clinical data from the Company’s open-label Phase II STEM trial has shown that SFX-01 can halt the growth of progressing tumours in patients with oestrogen-positive (ER+) metastatic breast cancer, and in some cases significantly shrink the tumour, whilst causing very few side effects.
The has its headquarters at Alderley Park, Cheshire , and its registered office is at the Liverpool Science Park, Liverpool. It is listed on the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange and trades under the ticker symbol EVG.
For further information, please visit: www.evgen.com
For research on the Company, please visit: http://evgen.com/investors/analyst-coverage/
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