Despite advances in targeted therapy over recent years, the treatment of most adult solid cancers remains palliative rather than curative and represents a major unmet need. Solid cancers, particularly aggressively growing ones, are supported by a network of blood vessels. Vascular Disrupting Agents (“VDAs”) were specifically designed to destroy the vascular network, depriving the growing tumour of essential nutrients and thereby killing it. However, their inherent cardiac toxicity is an obstacle to their effective use in the clinic. EP0015 seeks to address this by releasing the VDA only at the tumour site.
The ability of EP0015 to target solid tumours has many possible benefits which will be assessed as part of clinical trials, including:
i. Greater efficacy – improved therapeutic index due to targeting and reduced toxicity;
ii. Side-effects – enhanced patient comfort;
iii. Reduced frequency of treatment – potential cost savings; and
iv. Improved life expectancy – desired outcome.
EP0015 has a significant competitive advantage over many current therapeutic approaches, including other anti-vascular agents because of the ability to achieve high tumour drug concentrations without the corresponding systemic and normal tissue toxicities.
EP0015 has been shown to be effective against a wide range of cancer cells, including the major solid tumours, both in vivo and in vitro. Importantly, EP0015 also demonstrates an absence of the toxicity associated with previous vascular targeting agents.
EP0015 is close to the First Time in Man (FTIM – a clinical phase 1 design in patients) stage and is the subject of commercial agreements with Ellipses Pharma.