Time: 13:08

Compound derived from Australian rainforest progresses in human trials

Australian life sciences company QBiotics has reported progress in further developing EBC-46 as a potential treatment for solid tumours in humans.

QBiotics is a public, unlisted company based in Brisbane. EBC-46 is a novel compound with anti-cancer properties derived from a plant unique to Australia’s tropical rainforest.

QBiotics has previously reported on the efficacy of EBC-46 in the treatment of mast cell tumours and soft tissue sarcomas in dogs. These veterinary studies have now progressed to trials in the US and UK as a prelude to approvals in the international canine oncology market.

The company says the multi-centre human Clinical Phase I/II trial, which started in 2015, is showing encouraging results.

According to the company, the study has now treated eight human patients.

“This study is primarily being undertaken to examine the safety of EBC-46,” it said. “The drug has been well tolerated by all patients treated. In addition, sound evidence of efficacy has also been noted in tumours of all the patients treated. This is shown by the appearance of bruising and initial tumour breakdown on the section of the tumour treated. This response in humans is very similar to what has been seen in the successful veterinary studies with EBC-46 where full tumour destruction is noted.”

Tumour types in the human trial treated to date are melanoma, squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and breast adenocarcinoma.

“It is still too early to draw substantive conclusions about the potential for overall success of EBC-46 as a treatment for humans. However, these initial results, that are clearly showing potential for a good safety profile for the drug combined with early signs of efficacy in a range of tumour types, are very encouraging,” said Dr Victoria Gordon, CEO of QBiotics.