Tour de Cure backs further development of Noxopharm's preclinical brain cancer candidate

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Noxopharm (ASX:NOX) and the University of South Australia have received $100,000 from Tour de Cure to progress preclinical work on a novel first-in-class brain cancer medicine.

Tour de Cure is a charitable organisation that, since its founding in 2007, has raised over $117 million that it uses to fund research and support cancer prevention campaigns.

Noxopharm will match the grant with $100,000 dedicated to the ongoing project, which Dr Helen Palethorpe is leading at the Tissue Architecture and Organ Function Laboratory at UniSA's Centre for Cancer Biology in Adelaide.

Noxopharm has developed the glioblastoma drug candidate from the Chroma platform. The platform comprises a library of novel chemical entities developed and optimised for robust anti-cancer activity. These NCEs underwent a comprehensive and complex screening process to determine the most favourable and potent drug candidate for glioblastoma.

The Tour de Cure grant will support Noxopharm and UniSA's efforts to assess the drug candidate's mechanism of action and identify biological indicators that could assist in stratifying glioblastoma patients who can benefit the most from this treatment. The project will provide increased insights into the company’s other oncology assets, such as its CRO-67 preclinical drug for pancreatic cancer.

Glioblastoma is the most frequent and lethal type of brain cancer, accounting for two-thirds of all Australian brain cancers. It remains an incurable disease with a median survival time of only 15 months after diagnosis. Few treatment options are currently available, and after initial treatment, recurrence of the disease is almost inevitable.

Lead UniSA researcher Dr Helen Palethorpe said, “I am so pleased with this Tour de Cure grant to support our work, which involves using advanced human brain tumours in a dish that I developed in our lab to investigate the mechanisms of action of this compound. At the same time, we are also identifying new biomarkers that can help in stratifying those patients that could benefit the most with this potential new treatment.”

Noxopharm CEO Dr Gisela Mautner added, “We are very grateful to the Tour de Cure team for funding this promising research. With this grant, our preclinical drug candidate is recognised as having potential that warrants further investigation and development.

“Glioblastoma is a particularly hideous form of cancer that kills 200,000 people worldwide every year. The lack of treatment options means there is a market opportunity for any company that can help improve survival rates and decrease patient suffering.”