Suda completes acquisition of potential cancer therapy

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SUDA Pharmaceuticals (ASX:SUD), a company focussed on oro-mucosal drug delivery, has completed the acquisition of the global intellectual property relating to anagrelide, an anti-thrombotic agent.

SUDA said it plans to formulate an oro-mucosal spray of anagrelide utilising the its OroMist technology, which has the potential to avoid the side-effects associated with the molecule when administered as an oral capsule. 

Under the terms of the acquisition agreement with UK-based Aluztra Bio, the relevant global patents covering anagrelide have been assigned to SUDA.

"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 have been made or are due," said the company in a statement.

Anagrelide is currently used as an anti-thrombotic agent to reduce elevated levels of platelets. It is recognised that platelets play an important role in the growth and metastatic spread of tumours. The recent American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting included data from several key opinion leaders, who presented on the underlying mechanisms by which the platelet-tumour interaction is mediated and how the reduction of platelets can help prevent tumour growth and metastasis. 

Anagrelide is considered to have potential as an effective anti-cancer agent but is limited in its current formulation by cardio-stimulatory side-effects. 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. 

According to Stephen Carter, SUDA’s CEO and managing director, “We are delighted to have finalised the acquisition of anagrelide. We are developing an oral spray formulation using our proprietary OroMist technology 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 and recently presented at the American Society Hematology Annual Meeting to support the theory that non-enteral administration of anagrelide could avoid the dose-limiting cardio-toxicity associated with first-pass metabolism of this novel anti-cancer agent.”