Novogen shares surge after successful cancer research

Shares in drug manufacturer Novogen rose 40 per cent after the company announced the results of a successful cancer drug study.

Business Spectator reports that experimental drug, Anisina killed melanoma cells irrespective of their mutational status.

The company explained in a statement that melanoma is associated with a variety of mutations, with those to the BRAF gene being the most prominent. A mutation to that gene occurs in about half of all melanoma patients and there are two drugs now available which can treat them.

However, as it stands, there is no drug to treat patients who have melanoma without the BRAF mutation. It is hoped Anisina could provide that treatment.

Nikolas Haass MD PhD and Brian Gabrielli PhD conducted the research studies at the University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.

Dr Haass said, “These findings from the preliminary screen with Anisina are exciting. Finding a compound that is equally effective against a wide panel of melanoma cell types irrespective of the genetic background has been a long-held goal. The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute is pleased to be part of the effort to bring this new drug candidate into the clinic.”

Clinical trials of Anisina are expected to begin in early 2016.

Graham Kelly PhD, Novogen Group CEO, said, “These results support our belief that Anisina has the potential to become one of the most widely used anti-cancer drugs across the full spectrum of cancer. In conjunction with our clinical advisors, we have a clinical strategy laid out which we intend to prosecute all the way through to achieving regulatory approval.”

As the Australia reports, the study comes just two weeks after another experimental anti-cancer drug from Novogen, Cantrixil, was found to kill human ovarian stem cells.

Human trials of Cantrixil are expected to start in late 2015, and the study will mainly target ovarian cancer and colorectal cancer.