Investors boost Starpharma in response to interim data from clinical trial

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Australian company Starpharma (ASX:SPL) has announced it will present positive interim data from the trial of its DEP irinotecan at a key international oncology conference in October in the US.

The data from the Phase 1/2 clinical trial of DEP irinotecan in heavily pre-treated, advanced metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC) or platinum-resistant/refractory ovarian cancer patients.

These patients had exhausted all available standard-of-care treatments, having received an average of up to six prior treatment regimens and 31 cycles.

Starpharma said DEP irinotecan demonstrated durable anti-tumour responses in advanced CRC and platinum-resistant/refractory ovarian cancer and was very well tolerated.

In advanced CRC, DEP irinotecan monotherapy achieved durable efficacy responses for up to 72 weeks, with disease control in 48 per cent of evaluable patients.

DEP irinotecan achieved an overall response rate of 29 per cent in the ovarian cancer patients dosed every two weeks (Q2W). The disease control rate achieved in all ovarian cancer patients was 72 per cent. The company said several patients continue receiving treatment and experiencing a clinical benefit.

Investors responded by boosting the company's share price by over 25 per cent.

Starpharma said recruitment into the monotherapy arm has been completed, and the combination arm is expected to complete enrolment this month, with top-line Phase 2 results to be announced following the completion of patient treatment and data analyses.

DEP irinotecan is a novel, patented nanoparticle formulation of SN38, the active metabolite of the widely used anti-cancer drug irinotecan (CAMPOSTAR).

Starpharma's DEP (Dendrimer Enhanced Product) platform uses dendrimers to improve the effectiveness and safety of drugs. It aims to enable more controlled and precisely targeted drug delivery.

It partners with MSD, Genentech, Chase Sun, and AstraZeneca to develop new treatments using the DEP platform.

Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley said, “We are pleased to report positive results for DEP irinotecan, which has shown promising activity and significantly improved tolerability in advanced colorectal cancer and ovarian cancer.

"The conference in October is a great opportunity to showcase both DEP irinotecan and the DEP platform more broadly.

“Starpharma has received consistent feedback from patients and clinicians indicating that DEP irinotecan represents a better-tolerated treatment option than conventional irinotecan regimens, which are the mainstay chemotherapeutics for colorectal cancer. Advanced colorectal and ovarian cancers both represent significant unmet medical needs."