Pharmaceutical company Amplia Therapeutics (ASX: ATX) has finalised a deal with the Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Sydney to collaborate on the development of Amplia’s drug AMP945 to treat patients with pancreatic cancer.
The Melbourne-based company is focused on developing new approaches for the treatment of cancer and fibrosis, including advancing a pipeline of focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitors such as AMP945.
The newly executed collaboration agreement and a research and licence agreement follows an initial term sheet signed with Garvan in March. The agreements define the structure of the ongoing collaborative research and clinical development program.
Under the partnership, Amplia will gain access to Garvan’s extensive clinical research network and benefit from its research strength in FAK biology.
Phase two clinical trial in planning stages
Amplia has previously conducted non-clinical studies at Garvan to evaluate the ability of AMP945 to inhibit fibrosis and significantly improve survival in an animal model of aggressive pancreatic cancer.
“We have already seen the benefits of this collaboration through the results of the non-clinical studies which we announced earlier this year,” Amplia chief executive officer and managing director Dr John Lambert said.
“These studies have provided important insights into the biology of AMP945 and have further validated our decision to progress this promising drug into a phase two clinical trial in pancreatic cancer patients.”
Findings from this earlier research will be incorporated in the design and planning of the phase two trial, which is scheduled to begin later this year.
Amplia’s collaboration with Garvan has an initial term of two years with Amplia receiving first rights to participate in research projects relating to the use of FAK inhibitors in combination with other therapeutic products for the treatment of cancer.
The terms of the final collaboration agreement also provide for expansion into other therapeutic areas.
Under the research and licence agreement, Amplia has agreed to fund studies of the use of AMP945 in combination with gemcitabine (registered under the trademark Abraxane) for the treatment of cancer, with an initial focus on pancreatic cancer. Amplia will receive first rights to new intellectual property arising from the collaboration.