Evgen Pharma said Tuesday that its lead product, SFX-01, will be tested against triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) in new preclinical research at the Manchester Cancer Research Centre, UK.
According to Evgen, this initiative will be funded by the company’s long-standing research collaborator, a charitable donation from the Shine Bright Foundation, a UK charity focused on TNBC, to the University of Manchester.
The new preclinical program will investigate the effect of SFX-01, the Company’s stable sulforaphane-based pharmaceutical development product, with and without chemotherapy, on patient-derived triple negative tumors in animal models.
This program is in response to recently published independent research at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States. The US research group has demonstrated that sulforaphane enhances the effectiveness of chemotherapy in TNBC. They conclude that their results “suggest that the treatment of TNBCs with cytotoxic chemotherapy would be greatly benefited by the addition of sulforaphane to prevent expansion of and eliminate breast cancer stem cells”.
This US research provides a positive read-across for Evgen Pharma whose current Phase IIa study in advanced breast cancer is testing the hypothesis that SFX-01, by targeting breast cancer stem cells, may reduce resistance to hormone therapy.
Dr Stephen Franklin, CEO of Evgen Pharma, said: “In our ongoing Phase IIa study, we are focusing on the more prevalent hormone-sensitive (ER+) breast cancer patient group. Our hypothesis, supported by a significant proportion of the research community, is that cancer stem cells drive the eventual resistance to hormone therapy in ER+ patients. Targeting these cells may therefore extend the period of time for which hormone therapy is effective or even reverse resistance. The same principle can be applied to resistance to chemotherapy and this is the effect that the University of Michigan researchers is observing. This is an exciting development for Evgen Pharma, suggesting that SFX-01 could have wider utility in oncology where resistance to mainstay therapies is a perennial issue.”