Biopharmaceutical company Telix Pharmaceuticals (ASX: TLX) has been given the green light to commence a phase two study involving its medical imaging technology on prostate cancer patients.
The company today announced it has received regulatory and ethics approvals to begin the study with its strategic partner and leading oncology service provider, GenesisCare.
Referred to as the Enzalutamide-enhanced imaging or ‘ENHANCING’ study, it is designed to compare the expression of prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) in 40 Australian men with progressive metastatic prostrate cancer before and after treatment with the hormone therapy drug, enzalutamide.
The partners will study the impact of the treatment using Telix’s prostate cancer imaging technology, TLX591-CDx.
PSMA is a type of membrane protein that is expressed in all types of prostate tissue but is found in higher volumes in cancer tissue.
Enzalutamide is an anti-androgen drug that works by blocking the androgen (testosterone) receptor signalling pathway in order to halt disease progression. In doing so, this type of therapy increases the expression of PSMA.
According to Telix, TLX591 specifically targets PSMA, so by boosting expression in prostate cancer cells, it increases the potential for the antigen to be susceptible to the company’s technology.
The goal of the ENHANCING study is to evaluate the potential of this combination strategy of using androgen-deprivation therapy with PSMA-targeting radiopharmaceuticals such as TLX591 to treat prostate cancer.
Telix chief executive officer Christian Behrenbruch said this in an important study for prostate cancer patients that “may benefit from more aggressive combination therapies in the future.”
“The use of a molecular imaging strategy to non-invasively evaluate the potential combination of enzalutamide and PSMA theranostics is both clinically novel and potentially informative for future clinical studies in this patient population,” he said.
GenesisCare chief executive officer Dan Collins said this proof-of-concept study has the “potential to inform future studies combining androgen-deprivation therapy and PSMA theranostics”.
“ENHANCING is the kind of study that GenesisCare is ideally positioned to execute within our clinical trial network,” he added.
The two companies teamed up last October under a strategic collaboration comprising three aspects.
In addition to their preferred clinical provider relationship, which gives GenesisCare patients access to treatment through Telix’s trials, Telix provides compassionate use access to its glioblastoma (brain cancer) therapy program.
The pair also plan to jointly explore the commercial potential of Telix’s products in China.
By mid-afternoon trade, Telix shares were up 4.26% at $1.47.