EP0042 was originally discovered in a project led by Spiros Linardopoulos, the former team leader in Target Drug Discovery in the ICR ‘s Cancer Therapeutics and Breast Cancer Research Divisions.
Discovered at ICR , the drug is a dual inhibitor of cancer-driving proteins from the Aurora and FLT3 families, which means that it inhibits the activity of both simultaneously.
It can potentially counter drug resistance in cancer patients.
The Phase I trial of the drug will be carried out in study centres in the UK, the Netherlands and Australia.
On obtaining successful results from the Phase I trial, the drug will progress to larger trials and could potentially become a novel therapy for cancers such as acute myeloid leukaemia and neuroblastoma.
ICR cancer therapeutics head Dr Olivia Rossanese said: “EP0042 is an innovative drug, targeting both Aurora and Flt3, and could ultimately counteract drug resistance in cancers, including acute myeloid leukaemia and neuroblastoma.
“It’s always a real pleasure to see one of our drugs enter Phase I trials – it’s the culmination of our work to translate our scientific understanding of how cancer grows into new therapies to treat patients.”
According to the collaboration, Ellipses Pharma was fully in-charge of the development programme, including additional preclinical studies and reformulation of the drug product to obtain a clinical trial authorisation.
It also took the responsibility of advancing EP0042 into the clinic for the first-in-human clinical trial and any additional clinical studies required.