Adherex Enrolls First Patient in Clinical Trial For Metastatic Breast Cancer

Adherex Technologies is a specialty biopharmaceutical company that focuses on the development of drug adjuncts that function to enhance the efficacy of currently used cancer drugs.  The breakdown of drugs by the body is a principle factor that limits the therapeutic effect of medications, particularly so for the most widely used cancer drugs.  Adherex, a presenting company at OneMedForum NY 2011,  has developed a potent inhibitor of the body’s enzyme dihydropyrimidine dehydrogenase (DPD), which is responsible for the breakdown of one of the worlds most widely used cancer drugs, 5-fluorauracil (5-FU). Adherex’s product candidate, termed Eniluracil, through its inhibition of DPD prevents the body’s breakdown of 5-FU, thereby maximizing its therapeutic effect for the treatment of cancer, while at the same time minimizing drug dose required and drug side effects observed.

Adherex Technologies Inc. recently announced the enrollment of the first patient in the Phase 2 clinical trial for Metastatic Breast Cancer. The comparative study intends to enroll 140 patients at approximately 20 clinical sites in the United States and Russia in the next 12 to 14 months. “The goal of the trial is to show superior antitumor activity and tolerability for eniluracil/5-FU/leucovorin,” said Tom Spector, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer of Adherex and principal inventor of the treatment.  “After many years of clinical research, we now believe that we have the optimal doses and schedule to achieve these goals.”

Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer related death among women, according to the National Cancer Institute.  In 2010, NCI estimated that 207,090 women were diagnosed with breast cancer, while 39,840 women likely died from the disease. The primary endpoint of the trial is progression-free survival.  The secondary endpoints include the overall toxicity (including hand-foot syndrome), antitumor response rate, disease control rate, duration of response, and time-to-treatment response.  “It is an absolute privilege to be a part of this international study,” said Dr. Edgardo Rivera, Medical Director for Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center and Principal Investigator for the study, “I look forward to how this may impact the future treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer.”

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