Amplia Therapeutics receives $2.1m grant to fast-track second cancer drug AMP886

Amplia Therapeutics ASX ATX R&D cash flow loan funding Victorian Government
Amplia Therapeutics is developing FAK inhibitor AMP886 to treat cancer and fibrotic diseases.

Pharmaceutical company Amplia Therapeutics (ASX: ATX) has been granted a $2.1 million government funding facility to accelerate work on its second focal adhesion kinase (FAK) inhibitor drug AMP886 for treating cancers and fibrotic disease.

The company applied for the $2.1 million facility under the Victorian Government’s research and development cash flow loan initiative.

It will be issued to Amplia in two tranches, with the first $1.3 million expected to be received this month and the remaining $800,000 by the end of March next year.

Amplia will use the funds fast-track development of AMP886, including evaluating new therapeutic opportunities for the drug and initiating preclinical activities to underpin future clinical trials.

“This loan allows us to kick-start work on a second asset, AMP886, earlier and more aggressively than originally planned,” Amplia chief executive officer and managing director Dr John Lambert said.

FAK inhibitors

According to the company, FAK is an “increasingly important target” in treating cancer and fibrosis.

FAK is involved in many cancer defence mechanisms that can reduce the effectiveness of cancer drugs.

Elevated FAK levels in cancers have typically been associated with poor outcomes.

Amplia is developing FAK inhibitors to disrupt cancer defence mechanisms and make them more responsive to chemotherapy and other drug treatments.

AMP886 is at the preclinical stage and the company is developing it as a sole therapy.

Advancing lead drug AMP945

Facility funds will also be used to investigate an expanded scope for the antifibrotic potential of Amplia’s lead FAK inhibitor AMP945.

The drug is currently being developed to assist in treating pancreatic cancer.

Dr Lambert said a phase 2 clinical study for AMP945 is funded and will begin early next year.

This study will evaluate adding AMP945 to chemotherapy with gemcitabine and Abraxane, which is the current standard of care used in newly diagnosed pancreatic cancer patients.

To assist with the study, Amplia secured renowned oncology drug development expert Dr José Iglesias as clinical advisor in October.

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