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Purdue Pharma invests in oncology R&D

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Purdue Pharma announced completion of significant oncology related investments as part of its ongoing efforts to diversify its scientific research into areas of high unmet medical need. Through these investments, executed over a multi-year period and capped recently in 2017, Purdue is establishing a portfolio of drug candidates with the potential to deliver new cancer therapies to patients within the next five years.

“With this formal entry into oncology research and development, Purdue is evolving as a company and renewing its foundational commitment to bring important new medicines to patients and physicians who need them,” said Craig Landau, president and CEO, Purdue Pharma. “We are excited by the opportunity and the potential to make meaningful contributions to the field of cancer medicine.”

In assembling this portfolio, Purdue now has four drug candidates in development for multiple cancer types:

EDO-S7.1, a novel topoisomerase inhibitor, is designed to work by metabolizing into its active form through enzymes in the gastrointestinal tract that are particularly active in cancer cells. In an interim analysis of a phase II trial in patients with therapy refractory advanced biliary tract cancers, the trial met the primary endpoint of rate of disease control (DCR) after first stage. In the trial, commonly observed drug related adverse events were: myelosuppression (including grade 3-4 neutropenia and thrombocytopenia), infection, alopecia, fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pain.

EDO-S101, also known as tinostamustine, is a novel, first-in-class alkylating deacetylase inhibitor (AK-DACi) compound currently advancing through phase 1 human trials. Preclinical studies suggest that tinostamustine delivers both alkylating activity and pan-histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibition to simultaneously damage DNA and block damage repair in cancer cells. The development programs for this drug candidate are investigating its potential utility in both solid and hematologic tumors. 

EDO-B776 and EDO-B278 are two late pre-clinical stage antibody-drug conjugates. EDO-B776 is being studied for its potential to target the cancer antigen 125 (CA-125) in ovarian cancer. EDO-B278 is an antibody-drug conjugate targeting the human tissue factor and is in development for various solid tumors.

Research on these drug candidates is being directed on behalf of Purdue by Mundipharma EDO, part of the Mundipharma network of independent associated companies.

“We are pleased to collaborate with Purdue Pharma on the development of these important compounds,” said Dr. Thomas Mehrling, chief executive officer, EDO. “Purdue’s strong experience developing novel treatments will translate well to oncology and we are confident that this will be a successful partnership.”

Purdue will also continue to selectively seek additional oncology product assets through licensing and acquisition, and the company will maintain a priority interest in candidates with mechanisms complementary to emerging immuno-oncology based treatment paradigms.

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