Rexahn Pharma (RNN) RX-3117 Data Shows Effectiveness Against Gemcitabine Resistant Human Cancer Cells
9:03 AM ET, 01/06/2015 - StreetInsider
Rexahn Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NYSE: RNN), a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing best-in-class therapeutics for the treatment of cancer, today announced the online publication of preclinical results for RX-3117 in the peer reviewed medical journal, Anticancer Research, in an article titled, "A Novel Cytidine Analog, RX-3117, Shows Potent Efficacy in Xenograft Models, Even in Tumors that are Resistant to Gemcitabine". The article was coauthored by Dr. G.J. Peters of the VU University of The Netherlands and Rexahn scientists. In this study, the efficacy of orally administered RX-3117 was examined in nine different human tumor Xenograft models that had differing degrees of resistance to gemcitabine. In the four high gemcitabine resistant models gemcitabine treatment resulted in 0% to 30% tumor growth inhibition, whereas oral treatment with RX-3117 induced tumor growth inhibition between 62% to 100%. RX-3117 was also evaluated in a primary low passage Champions Tumorgraft(TM) model derived from biopsy samples from pancreatic cancer patients with known resistance to gemcitabine. In this model, RX-3117 produced a 76% inhibition of tumor growth, as compared to gemcitabine which had tumor growth inhibition of 38%. Dr. Staffan Eriksson, MD, PhD, Professor, Department of Anatomy, Physiology and Biochemistry at The Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences commented, "The Champions Tumorgraft(TM) model used cancer cells, and their microenvironment, taken from individual cancer patients and then transplanted directly into a mouse Xenograft model, making the results potentially more predictive for the outcome of clinical trials. The fact that RX-3117 was active against cells partially resistant to gemcitabine makes these results very promising for future drug development efforts which may be of great benefit to many cancer patients." Peter D. Suzdak, Ph.D., Rexahn's Chief Executive Officer, commented, "The ability of RX-3117 to inhibit the growth of gemcitabine resistant human cancers cells is very exciting. Moreover, the pronounced anti-tumor effects of RX-3117 in the Champions Tumorgraft(TM) model are of particular importance because the cancer cells used in this model are derived directly from biopsies taken from pancreatic cancer patients who have shown gemcitabine resistance. Resistance to the anti-cancer effects of gemcitabine represents a major clinical issue in the treatment of cancer patients. Up to 40% of cancer patients receiving one or more cycles of gemcitabine rapidly become resistant to its anti-cancer activity. Based on study results to date, both preclinical and clinical, we believe RX-3117 holds the potential to be used for the treatment of tumors that do not respond to gemcitabine."