May 30, 2011 - 11:18 pm
Very exciting news from Endocyte, Inc.:
EC145 is the first drug to demonstrate a significant improvement in PFS (progression-free survival) in a randomized study in patients with platinum-resistant ovarian cancer. The results are particularly important for these patients because there are very few treatment options available. In the U.S., no new drug has been approved for women with platinum resistant ovarian cancer in over 10 years," said Ron Ellis, president and chief executive officer of Endocyte. "We have already advanced EC145 into its Phase 3 evaluation in the PROCEED trial, which is designed to replicate PRECEDENT's success and is now open to accrual."
EC145 is a conjugate of the vitamin folate and a very potent vinca alkaloid. Folate is required for cell division, and rapidly dividing cancer cells over-express folate receptors in order to capture enough folate to support cell division. By combining a chemotherapy drug with folate, EC145 targets cancer cells while avoiding most normal cells. This targeted approach is designed to provide treatment with potent drugs while providing lower toxicity than standard chemotherapy.
EC20 is a folate-targeted molecular imaging agent that is being developed as a non-invasive method to identify tumors that over-express folate receptors. These tumors are the molecular target of Endocyte's folate-targeted therapeutic compounds such as EC145. To date, EC20 has been administered to over 350 patients and has been found to be well tolerated.