PharmAust says monepantel has anti-cancer effects across multiple types

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PharmAust (ASX:PAA) has provided investors with an update on studies of the anti-cancer mechanism of action of monepantel (MPL) performed at the Olivia Newton-John Cancer Research Institute.

The company said the newly released research report shows that MPL can stop the growth of many types of cancer cells.

"In some cases this happens through apoptosis, where the cells die off. However, even when apoptosis doesn't happen, MPL can still stop the cells from reproducing by disrupting the cell cycle," it said.

PharmAust executive chairman Dr Roger Aston said, “This analysis of the mechanisms of action of MPL in conjunction with its very low toxicity offers a potential new paradigm in the regulation and management of cancer.”

The company said that when the researchers analysed the genes in the cancer cells treated with MPL, they found that many involved in cell division were turned off, while genes involved in the stress response for apoptosis were turned on.

"As these outcomes are associated with mTOR signalling, cell cycle and autophagy, researchers have now identified the likely MPL anti-cancer trigger mechanism," it said, adding, "The data provide compelling evidence that MPL prevents cell divisions and induces apoptosis through cell stressors as the mechanism of action and how it fights cancer."