OncoGenex Initiates Phase I Clinical Trial Of OGX-427 In Cancer

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Clinical Trial Of OGX-427 In Cancer

OncoGenex Technologies enrolled the first patient in an open label, dose-escalation, multi-center Phase I clinical study evaluating a new investigational drug, OGX-427, in patients with breast, ovarian, bladder, prostate or lung cancer.

OGX-427 blocks production of Heat Shock Protein 27 (Hsp27), a cell-survival protein that inhibits apoptotic cell death through multiple pathways. The study, which will enroll up to 54 patients with cancers known to overexpress Hsp27, will evaluate the safety, pharmacokinetics and biological activity of OGX-427 alone and in combination with docetaxel. All patients who enter the trial have failed therapies that are potentially curative or failed/refused other standard therapy. Clinical sites in Canada and the United States will participate in the study. Dr. Kim N. Chi, Medical Oncologist at the BC Cancer Agency, is the study's principal investigator.


Preclinical studies at the Prostate Centre at Vancouver General Hospital show that OGX-427 significantly decreases levels of Hsp27, induces apoptosis in several human cancer cell lines, has single agent anti-tumor activity, and acts as a chemosensitizer with several cytotoxic drugs, including docetaxel.

"We found that Hsp27 levels increased four-fold in prostate cancer patients after treatment with chemo- or hormone therapy," said Dr. Martin Gleave, Professor of Urology at the University of British Columbia, Director of the Prostate Centre, and Chief Scientific Officer at OncoGenex. "When we inhibited Hsp27 with OGX-427, we significantly delayed the growth of lung, prostate, breast and other cancers in the lab."

"Targeting Hsp27 is an attractive treatment strategy since this should inhibit multiple pathways implicated in cancer progression and the development of treatment resistance," said Scott Cormack, President and Chief Executive Officer of OncoGenex.

OGX-427 is a second-generation antisense drug that potently blocks production of Hsp27, a cell-survival protein found at elevated levels in many human cancers including prostate, lung, breast, ovarian, bladder, renal, pancreatic, multiple myeloma and liver cancers. Standard anti-cancer therapies are known to further elevate Hsp27 levels. Increased levels of Hsp27 in some cancers are associated with metastasis, poor prognosis and resistance to radiation or chemotherapy.