Redx confirms potential role for Porcupine inhibitor in cancer immunotherapy

19 Sep 2016

Redx Pharma Plc is pleased to confirm that its lead cancer treatment, the Porcupine inhibitor (RXC004), has a potential role in cancer immunotherapy. Redx scientists have demonstrated that the Porcupine inhibitor could have a crucial role in improving the immune system response of some cancer patients when used in combination with an existing immunotherapy, anti-programmed cell death-1 (anti-PD-1).

Anti-PD-1 therapy activates the immune system to recognise and attack tumours. While treatment with PD-1 inhibitors, also known as Checkpoint inhibitors, is a significant breakthrough in cancer treatment, not all patients respond.

Redx has been testing a combination therapy that uses both the Porcupine inhibitor RXC004 and an anti-PD-1 antibody in a cancer model. The data demonstrates that the combination therapy significantly improves the ratio of favourable T-cells, which attack tumours, to the immunosuppressive T-cells that allow tumours to grow unrecognised, when compared to only using an anti-PD-1 therapy. This suggests that a combination therapy could potentially improve patient response rates.

Redx’s novel, potent small molecule Porcupine inhibitor has already shown, in disease models, that it has potential as a stand-alone therapy for difficult to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.

As previously reported, first-in-human studies for the Porcupine inhibitor, initially as a stand-alone therapy, are expected to commence early in 2017. In addition, Redx is now evaluating opportunities for combination therapies.

Neil Murray, CEO of Redx, commented: The results so far from our Porcupine inhibitor, RXC004, have been very impressive, with important implications for difficult to treat cancers, such as pancreatic cancer.

Over the past few years, significant progress has been made in harnessing the ability of the immune system to attack cancer. We are very pleased that our new findings confirm that our lead cancer treatment, the Porcupine inhibitor RXC004, now also has a potentially crucial role in enhancing existing cancer immunotherapy treatments.

Our Porcupine program has progressed from concept to moving towards first-in-human clinical trials in a little under three years, which is a remarkable achievement and evidence of our commercially disciplined approach and outstanding scientific capabilities.