Bionomics, an Australian biotechnology company, has announced the beginning of Phase II clinical trials for its vascular disrupting agent BNC105 as a treatment for mesothelioma. The company announced its plans to test the drug on mesothelioma patients in December 2009. It will partner with the Australasian Lung Cancer Trials Group (ALTG) and the NHMRC (National Health and Medical Research Council) Clinical Trial Centre.
The clinical trial involves 60 patients at 12 centers in Australia.It is a single arm, unblinded study for patients with mesothelioma who have progressed on platinum/pemetrexed chemotherapy. BNC105 will be administered on days 1 and 8 of 21-day cycles. Treatment will continue until disease progression. The primary objective is to determine the tumor response rate.
Principal investigator for the trial is Dr. Anna Nowak, professor at the Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Australia and consultant medical oncologist at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital. According to information on the company’s web site, Bionomics has already commenced Phase II testing of the anti-cancer properties of BNC105 in renal cancer in the United States. The commencement of this Phase II trial follows a successful BNC105 Phase I clinical trial in patients with advanced cancers at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, the Western Hospital, Austin Health and the Royal Melbourne Hospital.
Dr. Nowak says, “Mesothelioma remains a substantial problem in Australia and other parts of the world. An early clinical trial of BNC105 suggested some promise in mesothelioma. This Phase II trial will provide hope and an opportunity to participate in a research study for people with mesothelioma who do not have other options for treatment.”
Dr. Deborah Rathjen, CEO and Managing Director of Bionomics, says the company expects to report interim results of this study in mesothelioma patients in early 2011.
In 2005, Bionomics reports there were 597 new cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in Australia and in 2006 there were 486 deaths attributed to mesothelioma.
More information about the clinical trial is available online. Inquiries may be directed to:
Dr Deborah Rathjen
CEO & Managing Director
+61 8 8354 6101 / 0418 160 425
+61 3 9620 3333