A targeted product pipeline is core to Noxopharm’s success. We achieve this by leveraging the skills of our scientific team and developing new technologies in house.
Noxopharm’s science-driven strategy has led to the development of its Chroma™ technology platform. Our highly skilled R&D team has extensive expertise in the development of drug candidates based on a scaffold structure known as functionalised benzopyrans; a structure that is found in a range of medications.
Through methodically creating adaptions based on this scaffold structure, Noxopharm has generated a library of unique drug candidates that share novel bioactive properties to enhance anti-cancer activity while targeting specific receptors. The majority of these valuable early-stage assets in the Chroma platform predominantly signal anti-cancer activity, with several of the drug candidates having the potential to block inflammation as well.
A number of molecules are being critically assessed in the Chroma platform. The most advanced is CRO-67, which has demonstrated a unique dual-cell activity against pancreatic cancer in preclinical research.
Tumours in the pancreas are surrounded by a dense barrier that make them more resistant to both chemotherapy and the body’s natural immune system. The cells in this barrier also promote the growth and spread of the tumour, meaning that this barrier makes pancreatic cancer particularly aggressive and difficult to treat. The challenge is that any anti-cancer treatment needs to get through the barrier layer and then to the tumour itself.
To address this challenge, the University of NSW (UNSW) in Sydney has recently developed a world-first model of pancreatic cancer for research purposes, using cancer tissue samples surgically removed from pancreatic cancer patients. A recent study by UNSW applied the Noxopharm drug candidate CRO-67 to cancer samples in this model. After 12 days CRO-67 was shown to have dual-cell activity, killing both the tumour cells and the surrounding barrier cells.
This world-first study demonstrates CRO-67 as a novel dual-cell therapy, potently destroying both the tumour and its surrounding barrier. These highly promising results will now drive further studies to maximise the potential of this new approach to pancreatic cancer treatment.
Our team of scientists and collaborators have also discovered that various molecules under development in the Chroma platform are displaying anti-inflammatory properties with potential applications in the treatment of autoimmune disease and hyperinflammatory conditions through the blocking of a target known as TBK1.
Normally TBK1 helps clear infections, but sometimes too much inflammation occurs, which can damage the body. Noxopharm, along with our collaborator Hudson Institute of Medical Research, is investigating drug candidates that may inhibit TBK1 and could have applications in the treatment of autoimmune diseases such as motor neurone disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes mellitus.
This excessive inflammation can also be seen in infections like COVID-19, leading to complications, hospitalisations and possibly long COVID . The Victorian government has granted Hudson Institute a $1.45 million grant to investigate this potential application for TBK1 inhibitors. Noxopharm, through its subsidiary Pharmorage, is named on the grant as Hudson Institute’s collaborator to commercialise any promising drug candidates generated by this research.