Drug Research
Drug Discovery & Development

Midatech signs deal with Novartis to investigate panobinostat to treat brain cancers

Published 09 June 2017

Midatech Pharma has inked a global licensing agreement with Novartis for the oncology compound panobinostat.

Panobinostat will be developed by Midatech for the treatment of Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG) as a continuation of its existing MTX110 program, and potentially for Glioblastoma (GBM).

In pre-clinical test models, panobinostat, which is a pan-HDAC inhibitor, demonstrated very high potency against DIPG tumour cell lines. In one such study panobinostat was the most effective of more than 80 anti-cancer agents tested.

Midatech's MTX110 program is focused on the treatment of DIPG, a childhood brain cancer that is nearly always fatal, with a median survival of approximately 9 months. Using a technique called Convection Enhanced Delivery, MTX110 is infused directly into the brain tumour, and diffuses through and around it. This technique allows for elevated drug concentrations to be delivered to the tumour, while at the same time minimizing systemic toxicity and peripheral side-effects.

MTX110 has been used to treat 5 patients to date in the USA and UK under its compassionate use program. In these patients MTX110 has been well tolerated thus far. We believe it holds promise as a potential therapeutic treatment for DIPG, for which there are currently no approved or effective therapies. Clinical studies in patients are planned to commence during 2017. Financial terms have not been disclosed.

Jim Phillips, CEO of Midatech Pharma, said: "In line with our strategy to focus on oncology and expand our product mix, we are pleased that Novartis recognises our unique capability to use their product panobinostat alongside our technology to treat orphan cancers. We look forward to driving it through development for treatment of DIPG, and make a real difference to the children suffering from this devastating and terminal disease."

Source: Company Press Release