For the first time in more than two years, a number of Australian biotechnology companies are in the US for one of the world's most important oncology events – the global conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).
Melbourne-based biotech Starpharma CEO Dr Jackie Fairley and her team are in Chicago for the meeting. They plan to hold face-to-face meetings with the company's group of international partners about the latest developments in the company's DEP drug-delivery platform.
"It's great to be able to talk face to face again with these important partners and to build new relationships," said Dr Fairley. "Our DEP technology has produced 4, soon to be 5, clinical candidates to date, including our partnered product with AstraZeneca, which could be a major game-changer in the treatment of leukaemias and lymphomas.
"During the Covid-induced lockdowns, we have made significant progress with our DEP portfolio, including signing two new research collaborations with large pharma companies. With borders finally open, it is great to reconnect with these partners in person. These meetings always yield new opportunities and a deeper understanding on both sides."
Starpharma will also use the meeting to showcase its most recent results from the advanced prostate cancer patient cohort of its ongoing Phase 2 trial, where all heavily treated patients administered with DEP cabazitaxel showed positive efficacy signals – including almost two-thirds seeing significant reductions in assessable tumour lesions, and 90% seeing a reduction in their PSA (prostate specific antigen) biomarker levels.
"These results were particularly positive given that all patients in this cohort had late-stage prostate cancer and had already failed multiple traditional anti-cancer treatments, as well as surgeries and radiation," said Dr Fairley.
Starpharma has a number of partnered DEP programs including a research collaboration with MSD and a multi-product licence with AstraZeneca.