Starpharma updates on DEP trials

Latest News

Starpharma (ASXSPL) has announced what it describes as promising efficacy signals in its ongoing clinical trials for both DEP cabazitaxel and DEP docetaxel. 

DEP cabazitaxel and DEP docetaxel are two of three clinical-stage products from Starpharma’s DEP platform, alongside DEP irinotecan.

According to the company, efficacy signals in the phase 1/2 DEP cabazitaxel trial have been seen in several patients with a variety of tumour types where stable disease of more than 30 weeks, and a decrease in specific tumour biomarkers such as PSA, have been observed.

"These efficacy signals are particularly exciting as most patients in the trial have been previously treated with multiple cycles of a variety of cancer therapies, including chemotherapies such as taxanes (docetaxel, cabazitaxel, Abraxane), hormone therapies and immuno-oncology (IO) agents," said the company.

The company said two UK sites are recruiting patients for the dose-escalation phase, which is moving to its seventh dose escalation level, with the majority of patients having been dosed with multiple cycles of DEP cabazitaxel.

"New sites are being qualified and will be added to the trial once it progresses to the dose expansion phase on reaching the recommended phase 2 dose," it said.

The company also updated on the ongoing phase 2 trial of DEP docetaxel in patients with a variety of tumour types, including prostate cancer and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).  

"The DEP docetaxel phase 2 program includes both a monotherapy arm and the use of the product in combination with Nintedanib. Both arms also continue to show a notable lack of bone marrow toxicity (e.g. neutropenia) and other common side effects including hair-loss, anaphylaxis and oedema," said the company.

"In the DEP docetaxel trial, efficacy signals have been observed in tumour types typically treated with docetaxel (prostate cancer and NSCLC) and in tumour types not typically treated with docetaxel. Based on efficacy signals observed and investigator interest, cohorts have been expanded to allow additional tumour types to be explored, including pancreatic cancer."

The company said further potential combinations are also being explored following interest from specialist oncologists. 

According to CEO Dr Jackie Fairley, “We are very pleased with these early observations for DEP cabazitaxel, particularly for those patients who have had long-standing stable disease and reduced bone marrow toxicity which often results in significant side-effects (neutropenia, anaemia etc) with Jevtana therapy.

"In addition, the fact that we are seeing efficacy in a variety of tumours such as prostate, pancreatic and ovarian is extremely promising. The growing body of clinical data from our DEP docetaxel and DEP cabazitaxel products demonstrates the compelling advantages for patients and for our commercial partners.

"The commercial utility of the DEP platform is also evidenced by our partnerships, including with AstraZeneca, and we look forward to them taking their first DEP candidate, AZD0466, into the clinic later this year.”