AURORA, ON--(Marketwired - January 22, 2014) - Helix BioPharma Corp. (TSX: HBP) (FRANKFURT: HBP), a biopharmaceutical company developing innovative drug candidates for the prevention and treatment of cancer, today announced the opening of patient screening for the sixth dose level cohort in its ongoing Phase I/II clinical safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy study of L-DOS47 in Poland. This follows completion of the first treatment cycle of the three patients enrolled in the fifth dose level cohort, in which L-DOS47 therapy was well tolerated as reviewed by the Trial Steering Committee.
"With the opening of the sixth cohort, we continue to be on track to complete enrolment in the Phase I component of the study by the summer of 2014," said Robert Verhagen, President and Chief Executive Officer of Helix. "Also, we have opened an additional site to support both dose escalation and cohort expansion." L-DOS47 is Helix's first immunoconjugate-based drug candidate in development based upon the Company's novel DOS47 technology, which is designed to use an innovative approach to modify the microenvironmental conditions of cancer cells in a manner that leads to their destruction. L-DOS47 is currently being clinically evaluated as a treatment for certain patients with non-small cell lung cancer ("NSCLC").
The Phase I/II clinical study is an open-label study to evaluate the safety, tolerability and preliminary efficacy of ascending doses of L-DOS47, initially as a monotherapy, in patients with inoperable, locally advanced, recurrent or metastatic, non-squamous, stage IIIb/IV NSCLC. The study commenced with a starting dose of 0.12 micrograms of L-DOS47 per kilogram of patient body weight in the first patient cohort. Patients to be enrolled in the sixth cohort will receive the next L-DOS47 dose level as planned in the study protocol, which is 0.78 micrograms of L-DOS47 per kilogram of patient body weight.
About Helix BioPharma Corp.
Helix BioPharma Corp. is a biopharmaceutical company specializing in the field of cancer therapy. The company is actively developing innovative products for the prevention and treatment of cancer based on its proprietary technologies. Helix's product development initiatives include its novel L-DOS47 new drug candidate and its Topical Interferon Alpha-2b. Helix is currently listed on the TSX and FSE under the symbol "HBP".
Forward-Looking Statements and Risks and Uncertainties
This news release contains certain forward-looking statements and information (collectively, "forward-looking statements") within the meaning of applicable Canadian securities laws, including, without limitation, those relating to the total number of patients that will be enrolled in the Polish Phase I/II clinical study and the addition of centres to the study. Forward-looking statements, which may be identified by words including, without limitation, "will" and other similar expressions, are intended to provide information about management's current plans and expectations regarding the conduct of the clinical study.
Although Helix believes that the expectations reflected in such forward-looking statements are reasonable, such statements involve risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results or events to differ materially from those anticipated and no assurance can be given that these expectations will be realized, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Risk factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements include, without limitation, (i) the inherent uncertainty involved in scientific research and drug development; (ii) the risks associated with delay or inability to complete clinical trials successfully, including that patient recruitment for the Polish Phase I/II clinical trial for L-DOS47 does not continue as scheduled or at all, and the long lead-times and high costs associated with obtaining regulatory approval to market any product which may result from successful completion of such trials; (iii) need to secure additional financing on terms satisfactory to Helix or at all; (iv) clinical trials that yield negative results, or results that do not justify future clinical development, including that the Polish Phase I/II clinical trial for L-DOS47 will yield negative results; (v) the risk that additional centres satisfactory to Helix may not be identified in a timely manner or at all and that such additional centres, if opened, may not accelerate the anticipated timeline for the Polish Phase I/II clinical trial for L-DOS 47; and (vi) those risks and uncertainties affecting the company as more fully described in Helix's most recent Annual Report, including under the headings "Forward-Looking Statements" and "Risk Factors", filed under Helix`s profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com (together, the "Helix Risk Factors"). Certain material factors or assumptions are applied in making the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, that the Helix Risk Factors will not cause Helix's actual results or events to differ materially from the forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements and information are based on the beliefs, assumptions and expectations of Helix's management on the date of this news release, and Helix does not assume any obligation to update any forward-looking statement or information should those beliefs, assumptions or expectations, or other circumstances change, except as required by law.