EXCLUSIVE: DelMar Pharmaceuticals CEO Outlines 2015 Plans, Looks to Clinical Cancer Trials

EXCLUSIVE: DelMar Pharmaceuticals CEO Outlines 2015 Plans, Looks to Clinical Cancer Trials
February 27, 2015
By Riley McDermid, BioSpace.com Breaking News Sr. Editor

Clinical development-stage company DelMar Pharmaceuticals is looking forward to 2015 as its lead drug goes into late-stage trials and its product development pipeline expands, President and Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Bacha told BioSpace this week.

Bacha said they founded DelMar in 2010 to focus on the development of “proven” cancer therapies for patients who were failing modern biologic or targeted therapies. Their current lead drug candidate, VAL-083, is a chemotherapy that was shown to be active against a number of different cancers in previous human clinical trials sponsored by the National Cancer Institutes.

NCI studied VAL-083 during the ‘original’ war on cancer during the late 1970s and early ‘80s,” said Bacha. “What intrigued NCI – and us – was that VAL-083 readily crosses the blood brain barrier, so a fair bit of their work was focused on central nervous system tumors, where the drug was shown to be active against glioblastoma, the most common and aggressive form of brain cancer.”

Bacha said DelMar is now looking for “a new understanding” of how VAL-083 attacks cancer and shown that this unique anti-tumor mechanism is different than other chemotherapies used to treat GBM. So far, VAL-083 is active where other GBM chemotherapies fail.

“Based on that, we re-initiated clinical trials in refractory GBM to define a “modernized” dosing regimen in GBM. Basically, our goal is to show that our drug works the same as it did 20 years ago in the patients who desperately need it today,” Bacha told BioSpace. “To date, we’ve shown that our “modernized” dosing regimen can achieve much higher doses compared to NCI.”

During 2015, DelMar will be finalizing the dose and advancing VAL-083 into Phase II/III registration-directed clinical trials as a potential new treatment for refractory GBM. Confirming the dosing regimen will position the company to begin expanding its focus with VAL-083 by expanding clinical programs into newly diagnosed GBM and into non-small cell lung cancer during 2015.

“Interestingly, VAL-083 is actually approved in China for the treatment of lung cancer. Our data demonstrates activity against tumors that have characteristics known to cause resistance to other chemotherapies,” said Bacha. “So, we can help physicians understand how better to use VAL-083 in the context of that approved indication and also establish clinical proof-of-concept to expand our efforts beyond brain cancer. 2015 will be an exciting year for us!”

BioSpace Temperature Poll
Analyst Mark Schoenebaum, a biotech and pharmaceuticals analyst and medical doctor for ISI Group Evercore, has been running a Best Hair in Biopharma contest for several months now. So far, the candidates are Bristol-Myers Squibb Company's John Elicker, ReceptosChief Executive Officer Faheem Hasnain, Celgene's Vice President of Investor Relations Patrick Flanigan and Acorda Therapeutics' Ron Cohen.

We want to know what our BioSpace community thinks: Who do you believe actually has the Best Hair in BioPharma?

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