Tucson, AZ (PRWEB) October 17, 2014
NuvOx Pharma, a biotechnology company based in Tucson, Arizona, has received a $1Million grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI) “Nanoparticle-based Sensitizer for Radiation Therapy of Glioblastoma, (NCI Phase II SBIR, R44CA144817 - 02A1).”
Glioblastoma (GBM) is a malignant primary brain cancer affecting about 10,300 patients each year in the US. Only 5% of patients with GBM survive more than 3-years after treatment. Glioblastoma is a challenging form of brain tumor partly due to the tumor hypoxia (low oxygen concentration in the tumor). Hypoxia is a predominant feature in GBM and is associated with resistance to conventional therapy of cancers as well as a major factor affecting outcomes.
Evan Unger, President and CEO of NuvOx, said, “This grant will support research studies on biomarker imaging methods for studying tumor re-oxygenation using our drug NVX-108 in treatment of glioblastoma.”
The project has subcontracts to Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) in Phoenix, The University of Arizona Cancer Center in Tucson, and Stanford University in California. Adrienne C. Scheck, Associate Professor at BNI said, “NVX-108 is an extremely promising drug for reversing tumor hypoxia. This research will enable us to study methods of imaging the hypoxia and validating its reversal so that NVX-108 can be used most effectively to assist in the treatment of brain tumors.”
Martin Brown, Professor of Radiation Oncology at Stanford University, said, “NVX-108 shows great promise in reversing tumor hypoxia and we are very excited to work with NuvOx on this project.”
NuvOx is currently conducting a Phase Ib clinical trial in GBM patients in Australia. In this trial GBM patients who have residual tumor after surgery receive doses of NVX-108 during each fraction of radiation treatment to potentially reverse tumor hypoxia and improve outcomes. After completion of the current trial NuvOx plans on filing an IND with the US FDA for a subsequent Phase IIb trial.