Medivir partners with world-leading liver cancer experts in new Scientific Advisory Council
STOCKHOLM, Aug. 7, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Medivir AB (Nasdaq: MVIR) (Stockholm: MVIR), a pharmaceutical company focused on developing innovative treatments for cancer in areas of high unmet medical need, announced today the formation of a Scientific Advisory Council as the company intensifies its plans for next phase of development.
In February, Medivir announced positive, preliminary results from the dose escalation cohorts of its candidate drug fostrox, in combination with Lenvima® and initiated the phase 2a expansion cohort. Fostrox, designed to selectively treat liver cancers while minimizing systemic side effects, has the potential to become the first liver-targeted and orally administered drug for patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The Scientific Advisory Council will work closely with Medivir to design the next phase of clinical development.
- "I am truly honored that we have been able to attract some of the world's leading experts in liver cancer to our Scientific Advisory Council. As underlined by the outcome of the dose escalation cohorts and the swift recruitment in the ongoing dose expansion, it is an exciting time in the development of fostrox. The Scientific Advisory Council, with its expertise and deep clinical experience will be critical in moving the clinical development of fostrox forward," says Dr. Pia Baumann, CMO at Medivir.
- "Despite recent advancements in the treatment of HCC, a significant unmet medical need remains. Patients with advanced HCC have an underlying liver disease that can negatively impact their ability to benefit from systemic, medical treatments. Fostrox, with its unique, liver-targeted mechanism has the potential to minimize the tumor burden locally in the liver and provide synergistic activity with existing medical treatments and improve the anti-tumor activity" says Dr. Richard Finn, Professor of Medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA.
The members of Medivir's Scientific Advisory Council;
Dr. Jeff Evans is a Professor of Translational Cancer Research in the School of Cancer Sciences, University of Glasgow, and Honorary Consultant in Medical Oncology at the Beatson West of Scotland Cancer Centre, Glasgow, UK. He is the Lead of the Glasgow Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre (ECMC) and National Clinical Lead of the NHS Scotland Cancer Research Network. He is an investigator in the fostrox clinical development program.
Dr. Richard Finn is a Professor of Medicine at the Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology. Dr. Finn splits his time between patient care and directing the Translational Research Laboratory in the Division of Hematology/Oncology. His research interests are focused on the development of targeted therapeutics for solid tumors across histologies. Dr Finn has been the primary investigator of several, ground-breaking studies in HCC, including the ground-breaking ImBrave 150 study.
Dr. Jeong Heo is a Professor of Internal Medicine at Pusan National University School of Medicine and Director of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Pusan National University Hospital. During his career, Professor Heo has held a number of academic positions, university and hospital appointments and has been principal investigator in many clinical trials for phase I-IV of hepatitis B, C and hepatocellular carcinoma. He is an investigator in the fostrox clinical program.
Dr. Maria Reig is the Head of the BCLC and Liver Oncology Unit at Hospital Clinic of Barcelona in Spain. Her expertise and area of interest is the development of prognostic models for patients with liver cancer and evaluation of treatment options with special emphasis in systemic therapy as well as new research about immune modulation and cancer emergence after antiviral treatment. She is an investigator in the fostrox clinical program.
Dr. Arndt Vogel is managing senior consultant and Professor in the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Endocrinology at Hannover Medical School. He is also head of the GI-Cancer Center and of the Center for Personalized Medicine at Medical School Hannover. His scientific focus is the translational and clinical research in gastrointestinal cancer. Professor Vogel is member and chairman of Hepatobiliary Cancer Study Group of the AIO, a collaborative group in clinical oncology in Germany. Within ESMO, he is member of the ESMO Guidelines Steering Committee. Furthermore, Professor Vogel has responsibilities in the establishment of the national guideline and is the coordinator of the ESMO clinical practice guideline on the management of hepatocellular carcinoma and biliary tract cancer.
Fostrox is a pro-drug designed to selectively treat liver cancers and to minimize side effects. It has the potential to become the first liver-targeted and orally administered drug for patients with HCC and other forms of liver cancer. Fostrox has completed a phase 1b monotherapy study, and a combination study in HCC currently ongoing.
About primary liver cancer
Primary liver cancer is the third leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the most common cancer that arises in the liver. Although existing therapies for advanced HCC can extend the lives of patients, treatment benefits are insufficient and death rates remain high. There are 42,000 patients diagnosed with primary liver cancer per year in the US and current five-year survival is 11 percent. HCC is a heterogeneous disease with diverse etiologies, and lacks defining mutations observed in many other cancers. This has contributed to the lack of success of molecularly targeted agents in HCC. The limited overall benefit, taken together with the poor overall prognosis for patients with intermediate and advanced HCC, results in a large unmet medical need.
Medivir develops innovative drugs with a focus on cancer where the unmet medical needs are high. The drug candidates are directed toward indication areas where available therapies are limited or missing and there are great opportunities to offer significant improvements to patients. Medivir is focusing on the development of fostroxacitabine bralpamide (fostrox), a pro-drug designed to selectively treat liver cancer cells and to minimize side effects. Collaborations and partnerships are important parts of Medivir's business model, and the drug development is conducted either by Medivir or in partnership. Birinapant, a SMAC mimetic, is exclusively outlicensed to IGM Biosciences (Nasdaq: IGMS) to be developed in combination with IGM-antibodies for the treatment of solid tumors. Medivir's share (ticker: MVIR) is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm's Small Cap list. www.medivir.com.
The following files are available for download:
Press release (PDF)
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