Novogen has formed two research partnerships with collaborators to explore potential uses and applications for its super-benzopyran technology.
The first is with researchers and children cancer advocates to form the Children Oncology Drug Alliance (CODA). The alliance will use Novogen’s super-benzopyran and anti-tropomyosin technologies to develop the first chemotherapy regime to treat childhood solid cancers, primarily neuroblastomas.
Novogen CEO Dr. Graham Kelly said that the company’s two drug technologies are promising solutions with the potential to address the unmet and special medical needs of children battling with cancers. “The Holy Grail of childhood cancer therapy is a medicine that is effective against a tumor such as neuroblastoma, but doesn’t leave the sort of damage that the child then has to deal with for the rest of his or her life,” Dr. Kelly said.
The company expects that its lead drug candidates will be investigated in clinical trials for children alongside trials for adult patients with cancer. Trials are set to start in the U.S. and Australia next year.
Novogen’s second collaboration is with Genea Biocells for the exploration of super-benzopyran drugs in degenerative diseases of the nervous system and muscles. Initial research indicates that the treatments may help improve “normalization” of stem cells that are implicated in certain types of neurodegeneration and muscular dystrophy.
CEO Kelly said, “SBPs have already been shown to be highly effective at killing cancer stem cells, which were previously considered resistant to anti-cancer therapy. But in some of our studies, we found in some instances that some of these drugs actually appeared to normalize both the behavior and appearance of the cancer cells. It was that observation that set us on the path to testing their ability to do the same thing with stem cells carrying genetic disorders.”
Genea Biocells and Novogen will investigate the molecules in lab models of degenerative diseases, including infantile neuraxonal dystrophy, Sanfillipo syndrome, motor neurone disease, and Alzheimer’s disease.