Shares of Alderley Park-based drug development firm Evgen Pharma plc rose about 9% after it announced that new research findings will be presented at the ESMO Sarcoma and Rare Cancers Congress in Switzerland next week.
Evgen Pharma said findings from its partnership with Prof. Francesco Marampon at Sapienza University of Rome will be presented in a poster at congress on March 20-22 in Lugano, Switzerland.
“The scientific work evaluates, for the first time, the anti-tumour activity of SFX-01 in two preclinical cellular models of rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) tumours, the most frequent soft tissue sarcoma in childhood,” said Evgen Pharma.
“This disease is mostly diagnosed in children under 10 years old.
“The in vitro data showed that SFX-01 reduced tumour cell growth by inducing G2 cell cycle arrest and triggering early-apoptosis (cell death).
“In addition, SFX-01 was shown to be effective both as a single agent and in combination with radiotherapy where it was found to be synergistic; it created a more positive outcome than would be expected by simply adding the two agents together.
“The results also showed that SFX-01 was able to reduce tumour cell growth in clinically relevant radioresistant RMS cells, drastically inhibiting the formation of cancer stem cell-derived tumourspheres (rabdospheres).
“Further detail of Dr Camero’s work will be available via the published abstract and poster at the congress. The collaboration with La Sapienza is ongoing and management looks forward to sharing further updates in due course.”
Evgen CEO Huw Jones said: “The collaboration with Prof. Marampon’s group is giving us further insight into the mechanisms by which SFX-01 exerts its antitumour effects and its potential for use alongside radiotherapy.
“We are particularly interested to see the effects on radioresistant cells since resistance to radiotherapy is a significant challenge for treatment in metastatic disease.
“If these findings translate to the clinic, SFX-01 could be highly impactful for patients with this hard to treat disease.”
Prof. Marampon said: “Based on previous promising data with SFX-01, we will be looking to understand the effects of SFX-01 as a potential radiosensitiser for cancer patients. The ultimate aim is to improve the impact of radiotherapy and facilitate recovery.”