The results of an evaluation of Evgen Pharma’s novel sulforaphane analogues suggest that some of the analogues merit further study as anti-cancer agents and they also provide reassurance that SFX-01, as a synthesised and stabilised copy of naturally occurring sulforaphane, is the optimal sulforaphane-based active for development in subarachnoid haemorrhage and potentially other neurological indications, Evgen Pharma said Monday in an update on the screening at the University of Liverpool.
Evgen noted that the researchers at the University of Liverpool evaluated 41 analogues, which represent new chemical entities based on sulforaphane’s core structure. The analogues were assessed for their cytotoxic potential against a breast cancer cell line and for their ability to activate Nrf2, which is considered to have a key role in sulforaphane’s mechanism of action against neurological conditions.
The activity of the analogues was compared with SFX-01, the company’s lead product which is currently in two Phase II clinical studies in breast cancer and in subarachnoid haemorrhage, Evgen Pharma has said.
According to the company, the headline findings from the research work are that 21 of the analogues are at least twice as cytotoxic against (that is, able to eliminate) breast cancer cells as SFX-01, with the most potent being eight-fold more cytotoxic, and that none of the analogues are as potent as SFX-01 as an activator of Nrf2.
Furthermore, Evgen said that it will explore all options to further evaluate the analogues, especially with regard to their capacity specifically to target cancer stem cells in breast cancer and other solid tumours. Ultimately, some of the analogues could represent follow-on pipeline products to SFX-01, whilst is focused on progressing its core clinical programmes of SFX-01.
Steve Franklin, CEO of Evgen Pharma, has thanked to Dr Noureddine Khiar and Dr Ian Copple of the University of Seville and the University of Liverpool respectively for their collaboration on this programme. He said that Evgen Pharma remains focused on the clinical development of SFX-01, but will be also committed to further understanding the therapeutic potential of these novel sulforaphane analogues. He said that it also recognises that in the near term “this will most likely be through collaborations that can lever non-dilutive grant funding.”