Boston Strategics (BSC) has started a Phase I clinical trial of Fujifilm's anti-cancer agent FF-10501 in the US to treat patients with advanced haematologic malignancies, such as relapsed or refractory high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS).
In MDS, the disorder of blood-forming haematopoietic stem cells causes inefficient production of blood cells triggering cytopenia. It is also a refractory disease for some patients with poor prognosis, progressing to acute myeloid leukaemia.
The company said that FF-10501 is expected to inhibit the growth of haematological cancer cells and promote their differentiation to normally functioning cells.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (MD Anderson) is conducting the trial for that Dr Guillermo Garcia-Manero is acting as the principal investigator for.
Garcia-Manero said: "We are very excited to be collaborating with FPHU and BSC on this important clinical trial in patients with advanced haematologic malignancies.
"This drug will provide another alternative for patients who have failed conventional chemotherapeutic approaches, and we are pleased to be furthering this research at our institution."
Under a strategic alliance agreement, BSC will use top-level clinical testing functions available at the MD Anderson to conduct Phase I and early Phase II clinical trials to gain preliminary safety information and clinical activity in cancer patients.
Each year, more than 10,000 patients are enrolled in therapeutic clinical trials at MD Anderson, which employs around 20,000 people.
The Phase I trial is part of collaboration between the two parties, whereby BSC optimises and executes the global strategy of FPHU Oncology drug development programmes.
The internal oncology development knowledge of BSC will help the company in delivering FPHU more efficient and superior outcomes to cancer patients across the world.
Boston Strategics president Eita Kitayama said: "This is an important milestone in BSC and FPHU partnership to develop a new pharmaceutical R&D platform for FPHU, which looks for an innovative and efficient way for global development of FUJIFILM's unique oncology pipeline.
"Both companies are fully committed to deliver breakthrough therapies using innovative approaches to achieve industry benchmark-beating timelines, quality, and financial investments for important novel anti-cancer agents."
BSC is a primary global strategic drug development provider for Fujifilm Pharmaceuticals USA (FPHU).
Image: Micrograph of a plasmacytoma, a hematological malignancy. Photo: courtesy of Nephron.