Pre-clinical testing of Patrys (ASX: PAB) anti-cancer agent PAT-DX1, which has been bonded to nanoparticles, has been successful in targeting breast cancer tumours and its lymph node metastases.
PAT-DX1 is a DNA damage-repair antibody that works differently to normal antibodies. PAT-DX1 can penetrate the nuclei of a cell and bind to the DNA. The drug can then inhibit the DNA repair process and kill cells with mutations or DNA repair deficiencies. As cancer cells contain mutations and DNA repair deficiencies, the drug can destroy the cells.
In the breast cancer study PAT-DX1 was bonded to nanoparticles (PAT-DX1-NP) to provide a more targeted treatment of mice with xenograft triple negative breast cancer tumours.
Compared to using free nanoparticles, the study revealed the mice treated with PAT-DX1-NP “showed significantly higher localisation”.
Both sets of nanocarriers were tracked, with researchers discovering PAT-DX1-NP also targeted nearby axillary lymph node metastases.
“This study adds to our understanding of PAT-DX1-NP and confirms that it can be used to localise a range of tumours, with differing pathologies,” Patrys chief executive officer and managing director Dr James Campbell said.
“If PAT-DX1-NP localises to metastases as well as primary tumours, the implications are significant,” he added.
Dr Campbell claimed seeing the drug target metastases opened the door for its potential to be effective in localised treatment of both primary tumours and distant metastases.
However, he cautioned this was the first direct evidence of the effect in an animal study.
In early December, Patrys revealed PAT-DX1 acted “synergistically” with approved cancer drug Olaparib.
Dr Campbell said upcoming research will trial delivering PAT-DX1-NP with chemotherapy drugs to assess the effect of the combined approached.
“Patrys’ novel position in the field of DNA damage response therapeutics is expanding, with confirmation of activity against a range of cancer types, and demonstrated synergy with the PARP inhibitor Olaparib,” he said.
He added the company was hoping to progress to using PAT-DX1 in clinical trials as soon as possible.
Shares in Patrys were up more than 23% to A$0.026 in late morning trade.