SUDA (ASX:SUD), a company focussed on oro-mucosal drug delivery, has exercised its option to acquire the global intellectual property relating to anti-thrombotic agent anagrelide.
The company said anagrelide has recently shown promise as a novel anti-cancer agent.
The option also includes access to a number of potential analogues.
SUDA said it believes it can formulate an oro-mucosal spray of anagrelide using the company’s OroMistÒ technology, which could potentially avoid the side-effects associated with the molecule when administered as an oral capsule.
Under the terms of the agreement, UK-based Aluztra Bio will assign to SUDA the relevant global patents. Aluztra and its partners will be entitled to a low single-digit percentage royalty on direct net sales or a share of income generated by SUDA from commercialisation of an oro-mucosal spray of anagrelide. No other payments are due.
Anagrelide is currently used as an anti-thrombotic agent to reduce elevated levels of platelets. Research has found platelets also provide essential growth factors that nourish cancer cells and enable them to take hold and develop into tumours. Those patients with the highest platelet numbers are least likely to survive.
"Anagrelide has the potential to be developed as an effective anti-cancer agent, but is fundamentally limited in its current formulation by cardio-stimulatory side-effects," said SUDA in a statement. "An oro-mucosal spray formulation of anagrelide could minimise these side-effects by avoiding first-pass generation of a highly potent cardio-excitatory metabolite of the drug in the liver."
“We are excited by the anagrelide opportunity," said SUDA CEO and managing director, Stephen Carter. "Using our proprietary OroMistÒ technology we aim to formulate an oral spray of anagrelide that enables the active drug to be efficiently absorbed across the oral mucosa membrane. This could provide a compelling new strategy for the treatment of solid tumours. There is substantial data in the literature to support the theory that non-enteral administration of anagrelide could avoid the dose-limiting cardio-toxicity associated with first-pass metabolism of this anti-cancer agent.”