Pharminox to receive Biomedical Catalyst grant funding for PMX 700 brain cancer drug programme
Nottingham, UK, 5 November 2012 - Pharminox Limited ("Pharminox" or "the Company"), the UK-based cancer drug discovery and development company, today announced that it has received notification from the Technology Strategy Board that it has been offered a grant of just under £0.5 million under the UK Government’s £180 million Biomedical Catalyst funding initiative for research and development in the life sciences. The proceeds of the grant will be used to accelerate progress on the Company’s PMX 700 programme, which is aimed at developing new treatments for glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer. Receipt of the grant is conditional on a review by the Technology Strategy Board and agreement of terms between both parties.
In most major countries, the current standard treatment for GBM involves the use of the chemotherapy agent temozolomide (Temodar™, Temodal™, Merck & Co., Inc.) in conjunction with radiotherapy. However it is known that a significant proportion of GBM patients respond poorly to temozolomide treatment due to inherent or acquired resistance caused by a DNA repair mechanism which is able to overcome temozolomide-induced DNA damage. The aim of the Pharminox PMX 700 programme is to design and develop improved follow up compounds to temozolomide that overcome this repair mechanism, thereby offering a new treatment option for those GBM patients for whom the use of temozolomide is ineffective.
Commenting on today’s announcement, Peter Worrall, Chief Executive said, “We are very pleased to be one of the first companies to be offered an early stage award under the Government’s new BioMedical Catalyst initiative and we are grateful to the Technology Strategy Board for its support. This new funding will underpin the next critical phase of development in the PMX 700 programme, from lead candidate through to selection of a preclinical development candidate that has been well validated in in vivo models and can be taken forward into formal preclinical development studies. The award is a strong endorsement of the underlying science and recognises the urgent need for newer, more effective treatments for this devastating disease.”
Mr Worrall added, “Temozolomide, the drug on which our programme is based, has been a tremendous advertisement for pharmaceutical research and development in the UK. It was discovered by an academic team at Aston University led by Professor Malcolm Stevens OBE, FRS, who is now Chief Scientific Officer Emeritus of Pharminox, and has rapidly become the gold standard drug for treating GBM, with global annual sales in excess of $1 billion. The development by Pharminox, a UK company, of an improved, second generation temozolomide with broader utility would be a very fitting sequel to the temozolomide story.”