Zelda Therapeutics extends research program with new collaboration

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Australian bio-pharmaceutical company Zelda Therapeutics (ASX:ZLD) has announced plans to expand its breast cancer research to study reoccurring tumours in collaboration with researchers at Complutense University Madrid.

Tumour reoccurrence is a common concern for women following treatment of breast cancer. According to the company, with the majority of current anti-cancer therapies primarily focused on trying to inhibit cancer cell growth, understanding how tumours self-renew and what controls the ability of cancer cells to spread throughout the body is a crucial aspect of cancer research.

By investigating the impacts that cannabinoids could have on stem-cell like cells, Zelda Therapeutics in collaboration with Complutense University Madrid says it is hoping to provide much needed data in this area of research, and most importantly, lead to new treatment regimens for highly resistant tumours.

It has previously reported positive results from an initial proof of concept study follow-on studies announced involving the treatment of breast cancer cell lines using Zelda’s THC-rich oil formulations. 

"The next stage of research will continue with in vitro (in a test tube) and in vivo (in a living organism) studies in order to investigate the effect of cannabinoids on cancer stem cell-like cells, and additional results are expected in coming months," it said.

Zelda Therapeutics executive chairman, Harry Karelis, said the company was delighted to be in a position to expand its research collaboration and extend the programme into late 2019.

“Complutense University has already generated exciting results using Zelda formulations on breast cancers. Expanding our research to gain a deeper understanding of the impact of cannabinoids on tumour re-occurrence is a critical area of research to be able to develop effective anti-cancer therapies in future.

“We are also very pleased to be able to undertake this important work with world-renowned researchers in the study of cannabinoids as anti-cancer agents,” he said.

Leading Zelda’s pre-clinical research focus are Professors Sánchez and Guzmán from Madrid’s Complutense University and Zelda’s medical advisory board. 

“Our pre-clinical research to date has shown that Zelda’s formulations have demonstrated anti-cancer effects. We look forward to continuing the next stage of this research, and are very excited to further extend this work to examine the impact of cannabinoids on cancer stem-like cells," said Professor Cristina Sánchez.

“These studies will provide us with greater understanding of how cannabinoids can work as a possible adjunct therapy in combination with standard treatments against resistant tumours.”