An experimental drug which could possibly help patients undergoing treatment for non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) has moved into Phase II clinical trials, according to a joint report from the drug manufacturer CanBas Co., Ltd., of Shizuoka, Japan, and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Ltd., of Osaka, Japan, the two companies working together on the development of this treatment method.
The compound, called CBP501, and its affiliated compounds are believed to induce death in cancer cells by keeping them from advancing through the typical stages of cell growth. Information from a previous Phase I trial show that CPB501 could accelerate anti-cancer cell action and speed along the cancer cell death process when the compound is administered at the same time as other specific chemotherapy treatments.
The two firms agreed to investigate the potential clinical applications of CPB501 in March of 2007, along with working together on the creation of other experimental cancer treatments. Under the terms of the agreement, CanBas oversees much of the research and development of new cancer treatments such as CPB501, while Takeda and its US subsidiary, Takeda Millennium, will handle the manufacturing and marketing facets of the business.
Last November, this agreement led to Phase II trials for the use of CPB501 in the treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a disease that affects the tissue that lines and protects the lungs, thus its outward symptoms, such as chest pain, coughing and other breathing difficulties, can resemble those of other forms of lung cancer. Mesothelioma typically occurs in patients who have suffered long-term exposure to asbestos fibers, which can irritate lung tissue and damage the mesothelial tissue that lines the lungs.
The success seen in treating mesothelioma with CPB501 has led to the latest development of employing the experimental drug to treat NSCLC. The data from the earlier study supports the idea that, if the drug can successfully treat a rare disease like mesothelioma, then it should also be effective against the more common NSCLC.
Executives with both CanBas and Takeda Millennium were optimistic about the possibilities for CPB501.
Dr. Takumi Kawabe, President and CEO, CanBas, stated his enthusiasm over the progress of their research. “CanBas is committed to creating important new treatments for cancer. We are excited to see CBP501 moving to Phase II trials in non-small cell lung cancer. This is the second Phase II trial for CBP501, and we look forward to advancing both indications toward an eventual marketing authorization.”
Anthony Boral, Vice President of Oncology Clinical Research for Takeda Millennium, shared in the excitement. “We are encouraged by the continued progress of CBP501. Through our partnership with CanBas, we will continue to use our understanding of cancer biology to identify new strategies to fight cancer and bring hope to patients.”
If the Phase II trials continue to meet with their expected success, Phase III trials will begin soon after. Assuming that the Phase III trials are also successful, Takeda Millennium will carry out the development and marketing for the new treatment in the US market.