Race starts preclinical breast cancer study for Bisantrene

Race Oncology is pleased to announce that it has entered into a collaborative preclinical research program with The University of Newcastle.

Eminent cancer researcher, Associate Professor Nikki Verrills of the Hunter Medical Research Institute, will lead the project.

The aim of this research program is to identify combinations of current breast cancer drugs that when paired with Bisantrene show equivalent efficacy to existing treatment options, but with significantly reduced serious side effects.

“This is an exciting development for Race and we are looking forward to collaborating with Nikki’s team,” Chief Scientific Officer, Dr Daniel Tillett said.

“Historical trial data has shown that Bisantrene can provide the same level of treatment as existing chemotherapy drugs, yet with considerably less damage to the patient’s heart. We believe that this research may potentially unlock a number of new combinations and opportunities for the Company.”

Current breast cancer treatments can result in serious and life threatening side effects such as life-long damage to the patient’s heart.

Many breast cancer patients are cured of their cancers only to later die of treatment-induced heart failure.

Any new intellectual property resulting from this research will be wholly-owned by Race and the expenditure is eligible for a rebate under the Australian Government’s R&D Tax Incentive Program.

Bisantrene was the subject of a large Phase III single agent clinical trial in the USA in advanced breast cancer patients in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

The trial showed that Bisantrene had the same efficacy as the standard of care treatment, doxorubicin, but caused significantly less damage to the patient’s heart (4% with Bisantrene, 23% with doxorubicin).

Race is pursuing Bisantrene combination therapies in breast cancer and other solid tumours, as part of its ‘5-Path’ strategy. This could lead to new cancer treatments with improved safety and efficacy (ASX announcement 14 November 2019).

The results of this study will support the Phase I/IIa human trial of a Bisantrene in breast cancer, currently scheduled to begin in Australia in late 2020.

Associate Professor Nikki Verrills said she was thrilled to work with Race on the project.

“Being able to apply our cancer expertise to Bisantrene, which has so much potential for improving the lives of cancer patients, is very exciting.”