Can-Fite BioPharma, a Israel-based biotechnology company with a pipeline of proprietary small molecule drugs that are being developed to treat inflammatory diseases, cancer and sexual dysfunction, has completed the development of a commercial predictive biomarker blood test kit for the A3 adenosine receptor (A3AR). The biomarker test can be used at any molecular biology lab, where a small blood sample from a prospective patient would be tested and within just a few hours, results indicate if the patient would benefit from treatment with Can-Fite's drugs, which currently are in clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and liver cancer.
A3AR is present in high concentrations in inflammatory cells and cancer cells. Can-Fite's proprietary drugs target and bind to A3AR, causing cancer and inflammatory cell apoptosis (programmed cell death). This creates a targeted anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory effect, while leaving normal cells unharmed. Identifying patients with elevated A3AR levels would indicate which patients would benefit most from Can-Fite's drugs, thereby offering personalized medicine.
"The completion of the development of our commercial A3AR biomarker test kit comes at a very important time since we plan to use the test kit in our upcoming advanced clinical studies. We believe the test kit will create efficiencies in our trials in patient enrollment and monitoring. As we progress into late-stage clinical trials for CF101 in auto-immune diseases, our A3AR biomarker test kit is ready for wide-scale use to help doctors and their patients identify who will be most responsive to Can-Fite's drugs. We believe these patients can significantly benefit from personalized medicine due to the high degree of clinical heterogeneity," said Pnina Fishman, Can-Fite CEO.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued Can-Fite a patent for the utilization of A3AR as a biomarker to predict patient response to its drug CF101 in autoimmune inflammatory indications. In December 2013, Can Fite reported favorable results from its phase IIb rheumatoid arthritis clinical trial for CF101, an A3AR agonist. Only patients with elevated baseline expression levels of the biomarker A3AR were enrolled in the study. CF101 met all primary efficacy endpoints, showing statistically significant superiority over placebo in reducing signs and symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.