ASCO2016: NuCana Acelarin Achieves High Clinical Activity And Durable Disease Control In Patients With Recurrent Ovarian Cancer

CHICAGO, June 6, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- NuCana today presented positive interim results of a Phase Ib clinical study of Acelarin® (NUC-1031) in combination with carboplatin in patients with late-stage recurrent ovarian cancer at the 52nd Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). NuCana is a clinical stage biopharmaceutical company developing and commercialising a portfolio of novel anti-cancer medicines based on its proprietary ProTide technology.

Acelarin is NuCana's first ProTide to be advanced into the clinic and a range of new anti-cancer agents are being developed from this platform technology. ProTides represent a new class of medicines capable of bypassing specific drug resistance mechanisms and generating high intracellular levels of the anti-cancer agent in tumour cells.

At ASCO today the Phase Ib study results were presented from the first 22 patients, of which 20 were evaluable. Significant clinical activity was achieved with an overall response rate of 30%, including 1 (5%) complete response, 5 (25%) partial responses and 13 (65%) with stable disease. The overall disease control rate was 95%, which was durable, with a progression free survival already at 6.6 months and ongoing. The Acelarin combination was well tolerated and no unexpected adverse events were reported.

All patients had been heavily pre-treated with, on average, three prior chemotherapy regimens. Seven patients were platinum-refractory and 10 platinum-resistant.

"The fact that the Acelarin combination with carboplatin is working in these platinum resistant/refractory patients is a clear indication that it is a very active agent" said Dr Sarah Blagden, Associate Professor of Experimental Cancer Medicine at the University of Oxford and Chief Investigator on the Phase Ib study.

Importantly, a positive interaction between Acelarin and carboplatin was reported with very high intracellular levels of the active anti-cancer metabolite, dFdCTP, achieved and maintained for 24 hours. This potential synergistic effect could significantly improve patients' outcomes.

Hugh Griffith, NuCana's Chief Executive Officer, said: "We are committed to developing Acelarin to target a broad range of cancers. These exceptional results, which combine intracellular activity, prolonged duration of response and good drug tolerability, build on our remarkable single agent data. Our plan is to develop Acelarin both for patients with platinum sensitive and platinum resistant ovarian cancer."

Phase II studies in ovarian cancer are now being planned by NuCana.

Poster information at ASCO 2016
Title: A Phase Ib study of NUC-1031 and carboplatin combination for patients with recurrent ovarian cancer
Poster session: Gynecologic Cancer
Display date and time: 6th June 2016, 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT
Location: Hall A, Poster Board 388
Abstract No: 5565

About NuCana

NuCana® is a rapidly growing, clinical stage biopharmaceutical company with a broad development portfolio of novel anti-cancer medicines. The Company's proprietary ProTide technology has the potential to set new benchmarks in efficacy and safety with its treatments that are specifically designed to overcome key cancer resistance mechanisms. Acelarin® is NuCana's lead medicine and has achieved exceptional levels of disease control in a broad range of patients with advanced, rapidly progressing solid tumours. NuCana is backed by world-leading investors including Sofinnova Partners, Sofinnova Ventures, Morningside Ventures, Alida Capital International and the Scottish Investment Bank. For more information, please visit:

About ProTides

ProTides are first in class pre-activated anti-cancer agents, with a protective phosphoramidate group that allows the medicine to bypass the key tumour resistance mechanisms that limit the activity of many current chemotherapy drugs. Acelarin is the first ProTide in oncology to be brought to the clinic. The innovative ProTide chemistry is a technology platform that can be applied to all nucleoside analogues. Gilead's ProTides, Sovaldi® and TAF have shown the potential of this new class of medicines for anti-viral therapy.

For more information, please contact

Hugh S. Griffith
Tel: +44 131 248 3660

Consilium Strategic Communications
Mary-Jane Elliott, Ivar Milligan, Matthew Neal
Tel: +44 203 709 5700


Back to news