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  • Brain cancer drug shows promise

    Author: AAP

A study of a new drug developed by Australian biotech Novogen shows it could play a vital role in fighting brain cancer.

SYDNEY, AAP - A drug developed by an Australian biotech is showing promise in destroying stubborn brain cancer cells in children and adults.

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A pre-clinical study in the United States has found that the drug, Trilexium (TRXE-009), can destroy brain cancer cells that are resistant to chemotherapy and cause tumours to return.

The study, carried out at the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research, studied the effects of the drug on brain cancer cells taken from patients and cultivated in a lab.

The patients all had glioblastoma multiform (GBM), the most common and aggressive type of brain cancer.

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"Killing these highly-resistant GBM cancer stem cells is considered to be a fundamental requirement to successfully treating this highly destructive disease," the drug's developer, Novogen, said on Wednesday.

"All patient derived cancer cells represented in the library responded to TRXE-009 at clinically relevant doses, suggesting a strong therapeutic potential."

Novogen designed Trilexium to cross the blood-brain barrier, which blocks most chemotherapeutic drugs from reaching brain tissue.

The biotech now wants to test the drug's ability to cross that barrier.

It is also working with the Feinstein Institute on different ways to deliver the drug, including by direct injection into cancer cells and intravenously.

Novogen hopes to launch a phase 1 clinical trial of the drug in early 2016.

Other previous pre-clinical trials have shown TRXE-009 to be highly toxic in other types of paediatric brain cancers.

Shares in Novogen were eight cents, or 61.5 per cent, stronger at 21 cents by 1206 AEDT.

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