Race Oncology launches trial in Israel

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Australian company Race Oncology (ASX:RAC) has confirmed plans to trial its investigative cancer therapy, Bisantrene, at the Sheba Medical Center in Israel.

The company said Israel's health ministry and the hospital’s research ethics committee has approved the trial. It is likely to start immediately.

“This is a major development, as it’s the first use of Bisantrene in patients since the drug disappeared more than 25 years ago,” said Race Oncology CEO, Peter Molloy.

The development of Bisantrene was discontinued in the early 1990s despite its recognised potential as a treatment for acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

The company acquired the rights to Bisantrene and is developing it for the treatment of relapsed or refractory AML. It has also submitted an IND to conduct a US registration trial.

The study in Israel is an investigator-initiated phase 2 trial in 12 patients with relapsed or refractory AML. It will be led by Professor Arnon Nagler. 

“It’s a testament to Bisantrene’s contemporary potential in AML that an international leader of Professor Nagler’s stature has decided to do this trial,” said Mr Molloy.

“I am excited about the potential for Bisantrene in our leukaemic patients in whom the disease is unresponsive and have very few alternatives,” said Professor Nagler. “A number of new targeted agents have become available, but these are only useful in the small percentage of patients who have specific, identifiable mutations,” he added.